In our last post, we discussed what a robot is, as well as who developed the concept, and when and where is was developed. Now, we look at why a robot might be used.
There are many arguments for using robots, most of them supporting one of three reasons:
- To save human labor
- To save human life
- To perform “superhuman” tasks
Robots can perform repetitive tasks that would become boring for humans and they can do it for a lower cost than human labor, especially when the cost of repetitive stress injury is taken into account. This frees people up to live more fulfilling lives, perhaps spending more time learning as a family.
Robots can go into environments hazardous to human health. Think of robots used by police bomb squads. The Pioneer robot is used for reconnaissance at the radioactive Chernobyl site. Robots have also been used to protect humans from the hazards of space exploration and volcanic research.
Robots are able to do things which humans can’t. Robotics are the standard in manufacturing electronic components because they can operate many times more precisely than humans while also operating much faster, allowing increasingly small and affordable electronics. Surgeons work with surgical robots in such a precise manner so as to make surgeries increasing less invasive, allowing patients to recover more quickly, with fewer side effects.
In the future, we will examine the how of robots and robotics.