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Article Contest 2023 (Kids)MainSlideRobotics


Winning Articles - Vidya E News Article Contest 2023

Robots are a type of machine with a computerized brain that follows the commands given by that brain. When the way that a robot should function is programmed and sent to its computer, it acts according to the commands it receives. It is a machine, but it acts like a human being in every way. Scientists are trying to develop a humanoid independent robot. Some of the first mechanical animals built by man are mentioned in historical sources. They were toys that could perform simple actions such as walking a short distance, moving the head and limbs, etc. The children of royal families in countries like England enjoyed themselves with those mechanical toys at that time.    It is reported that Leonardo Davinci, who lived in Italy during the Renaissance period, built a mechanical lion to please King Francis in AD 1515. When Davinci placed the lion in front of the king, it took a few steps forward, bowed to the king and opened its chest with its front paws. The French engineer De Tokensen built a mechanical duck in 1738 AD. It is reported that this animal, which could imitate a duck walk and made quack quack sound, swam when placed in water.   In 1774 AD, a French engineer named Jacques Drose created a robotic product in the shape of a doll, capable of writing two short sentences on a piece of paper by dipping a pen in a pot of ink. It was operated using a piece of machinery which was a part of a clock.

In the year 1801 AD, the Frenchman Joseph Marie Jacquard installed a simple robot machine that could apply automatic patterns to the handlooms which made the handwork easier and systematic. In 1890, the famous American manufacturer Thomas Alva Edison created a talking doll in his factory called Menlo Park. He was able to achieve this feat with the help of the advanced steps he had taken in the areas of sound recording and playback.

In the year 1927, the famous Tentyhouse electrical appliances manufacturing company in the United States built a robot called Teletox. Teletox was able to recognize the signals given by the owner and act accordingly.

 Robot man and robot dog

In the year 1939, an engineer named J.M. Barnett of that company developed a robot called Electro and his pet robot dog Sparco. Electro had the ability to move his lips, arms and legs and express 80 words with the help of a gramophone. Counting aloud up to ten using the fingers of his hands was another trick he could do. According to the commands given by Electro, his pet Sparco followed him, barking and wagging its tail. Both these mechanical man and the dog were presented as exhibits at the New York world’s Fair held in 1939.  The development of computers contributed immensely to the creation of robots. Even though only two or three tasks could be done by the earlier developed robotic animals, the opportunity to make them do many things was created by connecting the computer to the robots,.

Factory worker robots

Using robots to work in factories is the next step taken by man in this field. The robots that worked in the factories had only hands, arms and fingers. They had elbow joints, wrist joints and finger joints. In order to hold something firmly, their fingers were attached with suction cups and electromagnets.  These robots used magnets to hold metal objects and suction cups to hold non-metal objects. There is no need to install additional equipment on the hands of robots that work in factories, welding metal parts in automobiles, driving nuts in to those plates, tightening nails, and painting since their hands are built in such a way that they can be adjusted to suit the work expected to be carried out.

There are some important requirements that paved the way for robots’ use in factories

They are as follows.

  1. having to work in places where there is high temperature that cannot be approached by a human being.
  2. Engaging in heavy and strenuous work that a human cannot endure.
  3. Minimizing human mistakes that may occur in certain activities due to the wandering of the human mind.

Remotely controlled robots

The development of robots that can be controlled from a distance has been a vital and an advanced step in robotics technology. Robots with the ability to function twenty-four hours a day nonstop without the presence of a human being nearby, that can be controlled by remote control equipment from a distance of twenty to thirty kilometers, were first built by Japan. According to the nature of the work to be performed by the robots, they are classified as those used for space work, those used for domestic work, those used for corporate work, those who find and defuse landmines, etc.

Manny the robot

Manny was one of the most important robots developed by the United States Army. He had the features of a human being. He could breathe. Manny could sweat, bend his knees, move his shoulders and kick a ball, as well as recognize and salute high-ranking military officers.

Sentry the robot

A robot named Sentry, who works as a security guard in a factory in Japan, walks all night long at a speed of four kilometers per hour. One night, Sentry learned about a burglar who was about to break in through the roof of the factory. According to the signals he issued, the security officers who came there immediately reported the theft. Robots in space Robots are also used to explore the surface of planets like the Moon and Mars and send information and images back to Earth and collect samples of soil and rocks and the like. Such is the rover that landed on Mars.  In 1990, a robotic arm attached to the Columbia space shuttle grabbed a faulty satellite that passed by and took it into the spaceship. The astronauts corrected the defects. Robotic arms fix spacecraft faults in mid-air.

Robots to relieve doctors

Robots that assist doctors are a very amazing and unique creation. They identify disorders in brain, heart, eye, etc. in surgeries, operate surgical instruments and outline the part to be operated on from different angles as required by the surgeon.  This treatment involving robots is called robotic surgery. There are robots that can accept the commands given by a medical specialist seven or eight thousand kilometers away and help the doctor who is with it in the operating room. Tele-micro robots designed by medical engineers are famous for that. 

The First successful robot man

The year 2002 marked a unique milestone in robotics. Asimo, the first artificial human, was created as a result of Honda company’s efforts to create an artificial human. Osabo Hiroshi was the chief engineer of Honda’s Asimo design project. He was not only the head of the Asimo design project but of the project to design artificial humanoid robots.     The intelligent program called walk in Asimo is unique. When several commands are given at once, it has the ability to move non-stop and carry them out separately like a normal human being.  In other words, Asimo has the ability to behave in a flexible manner. When passing by a dangerous place, Asimo gives this warning “look out, you might fall”  Asimo captured the world’s attention by ringing the bell in the New York stock market in 2022  and  signaling to start  work.

R.K.D Shyamali Sewuwandi
Grade 10
Kiriwanagoda Kanitu Viduhala


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