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Applications of robots

What do we use robots for? Dr Richard Mitchell discusses some of the typical applications of robots in this article.
Industrial robots working with glass: Industrial warehouse, 4 orange robot 'arms' working at a large platform with yellow rollers.
© University of Reading

Clearly there are many types of robots and lots of areas where they can be used. Typical applications of robots are:

  • Industrial – the main use of robots for many years
  • Entertainment – increasingly more and more toys
  • Military – such as UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), UGV’s (Unmanned Ground Vehicle), triage and surveillance.
  • Service, including dispensing food and cleaning
  • Exploration, including in space
  • Hazardous environments – sending robots to work where it is best for humans to stay away
  • Cleaning, etc
  • Laboratory specimens
  • Surgery, rehabilitation, physiotherapy

As an indication of how these applications are changing, the Japanese Robotics Association has made projections of the sales of robots from 2010 – 2035. Their analysis shows that although industrial robots have been the mainstay for the robotics industry, there will be an increasing importance for service and medical robots.

© University of Reading
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