Humans choose dangerous and hazardous jobs for an earning. Now, a new generation of robots is lending a hand on tasks that are either too difficult or too dangerous for humans.
These Robots undertake tasks ranging from protecting our environment, clearing nuclear wastes to fruits picking, to name some tasks.
RangerBot is torpedo shaped, three feet long and can follow and kill the Crown of Thorns Starfish, which in recent years has been decimating the Great Barrier Reef and other reefs around the world.This has led to raised ocean temperatures and increased threat from other invasive species. RangerBot uses cameras and acoustic sensors to identify the starfish and then inject them with deadly poison. RangerBot can monitor reef bleaching and identify the species of fish living on the reef — tasks that used to require humans
Ranger Bot is developed by the Queensland University of Technology and the task is performed by one diver and 10 bots. It operates only at certain depths and has an obstacle avoidance system that keeps it from getting too close to humans.
(Image Courtesy: Bloomberg)
Humans who help clean up nuclear waste at decommissioned or damaged nuclear facilities must take extreme precautions to limit their exposure to radiation and the time they spend in the zone.
But Latro, a proof-of-concept robot created by Forth Engineering of Cumbria, England and the University of Manchester, has no such limitations. About the size of a kitchen table, the spider-like robot has six legs that enable it to climb over obstacles and collect radioactive material — and a computer brain that lets it make some decisions while being remotely operated by a human. Latro was designed specifically to help clean Sellafield, a contaminated nuclear storage site in Seascale, England .that contains some of the world’s most contaminated buildings.
Friend of the Firefighter-Indago
As the climate warms, wildfires have become increasingly common. The conflagrations can be as dangerous to humans as they are destructive to the landscape. But a new radio-controlled quadrotor drone called Indago uses infrared sensors to pinpoint the exact location of a fire and then works in tandem with airborne tankers to make sure water gets dropped precisely where it’s needed to extinguish the blaze.
Created by Lockheed Martin, Indago streams live video to the operators on the ground, who use the data to identify the fire’s location and intensity and to pinpoint people and property at risk. The drones are already working in Australia and the U.S.
It is better to prevent oil spillage than clean it when it happens- the answer is the inspection
(Image Courtesy: Diakont)
Russian engineering firm Diakont has developed a pipe-inspecting robot called RODIS. As it moves along inside a pipe, it uses sonar to test the structural integrity of the pipe walls while its arms trace their circumference, looking for cracks or other flaws. RODIS works slowly, covering only about a quarter-mile of pipe per day. But it’s designed not to miss anything.
(Image Courtesy: MIT Senseable City Lab)
Luigi, the robot, performs the dirty and health hazardous job most humans are happy to give up: collecting waste from sewers. Designed by MIT’s Senseable City Lab, the cylindrical robot descends into a manhole, stopping a foot or so above the waterline to take samples. The samples — which contain information about pollutants, infectious diseases, and drug use in the community — can then alert public health officials to potential health problems.
Luigi is now remotely operated, but future versions will be autonomous. It can decontaminate itself and analyze pathogens on the spot.
Sewage condition assessor-PIRAT (Pipe Inspection Real-Time Assessment Technique)
PIRAT is a semi-autonomous tethered robot for the Quantitative and automatic assessment of sewer condition.The PIRAT sewer inspection system has been developed within a joint project of the Manufacturing Systems and Automation Division of Australian CSIRO Manufacturing Science and Technology and Melbourne Water.
PIRAT is deployed to a sewer and teleoperated from a surveillance unit via a cable by a human operator. The maximum cable length of 250m gives PIRAT a fair operating range. The added value of the PIRAT system is its ability to perform an automatic evaluation of its sensory data.
PIRAT’s innovative instrument system contains a video camera and a laser scanner. For flooded sewers, the latter can be substituted by a sonar scanner.
The sensory data are evaluated by means of PIRAT’s interpretation system, which is an expert system that runs on a Sun workstation in the mobile surveillance unit. From both types of scanner data, the interpretation system generated in a first step a three-dimensional model of the scanned sewer pipe section. In a second step, the interpretation system uses techniques from artificial intelligence to detect and classify damages on the basis of the three-dimensional model data. The result is a sewer condition assessment report that is readable by the human operator.
Strawberry picker- Octinion
(Image Courtesy: Octinion)
Most developed countries are facing similar challenges to find workers to harvest fruit. With agricultural labor shortages -workers don’t want the job because it is either less appealing or lowly paid.
The robot is designed to work with “tabletop or vertical” growing systems or greenhouses, where strawberries are grown in trays, rather than in fields.The new robot can pick one berry every five seconds; a human can do the job slightly faster, picking and packing a berry every three seconds. Though slower, it is economically profitable because the cost per berry is similar.
The robot is currently nearing the end of development as the company tests it in collaboration with Belgium’s Research Center of Hoogstraten. Octinion will begin pilot testing with strawberry farmers in 2018, and the company plans to begin selling it in 2019.
It also plans to begin adapting the robot to pick other produce like peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers- everything that can be grown in a greenhouse.
The teleoperator or remote station touch screens panels used have passed stringent testing.
More than complementing humans in specialized yet dangerous jobs, such Robots execute their job meticulously, with precision and in quick time. This would render such vacancies for humans redundant in the future.
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