Those of us who might take the storyline of the popular Terminator movie series a bit too seriously – in which intelligent robots essentially take over the world – might breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the robots among are here to save our lives. When one thinks of robotics in use, a common image might be of the large arm piecing together cars in a factory, or the precise placement of circuits on electronic boards. Interesting, helpful, and time saving to be sure – but not really what one would think of as life saving. Let’s take a look at some of the ways robotics are saving lives that you might not have considered.
Before robotics entered the picture, human members of a bomb diffusion team would have to approach suspicious items and, at times, attempt to diffuse bombs themselves. The advent of robotic technology has made this process much safer for these teams. A camera-equipped robot can enter the area with the item in question and feed back the video to the team, possibly allowing them to identify whether or not there is a bomb in the suspect area. Furthermore, if there is an actual bomb, the robot can be remotely controlled to attempt to defuse it – in the event the bomb goes off, no humans will have been injured.
Robotics are now being used to help doctors perform surgeries. The popular phrase “hands of a surgeon” implies that the individual has very steady hands – something that is absolutely necessary during complicated surgical procedures. Robotic devices can be more still and steady than any human being possibly could – and that’s just one example of the many uses of robotics in medicine.
You might be wondering how robotics in food processing could possibly help to save lives. More than just another piece on the assembly line, robotics designed to aid in food processing are equipped with cameras and software which allows them to determine if the food being processed is of low – or dangerous – quality. When a bad food item is identified, the robotics will sweep it away to make sure it never lands on anyone’s dinner plate, which could very well prevent them from becoming severely ill.