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Smart Robots: Innovative Products on the Horizon

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Innovation has become the focal point in the field of smart robotics. Tech companies have been coming up with various products that can reduce human efforts and offer efficiency.

From house cleaning to farming, smart robots have been utilized in a variety of applications. As the self-driving car is the future, the tech giants have been working on developing a robot that would deliver the package from car to the doorstep of a customer.

Xiaomi launched its smart robot vacuum cleaner that sweeps corners and makes less noise as compared to traditional cleaners. Moreover, a weed-cutting robot has been invented that saves costs and is environment-friendly. Researchers at NASA have been working on developing soft robots for applications of space exploration.

The industry of smart robots is flooding with innovative products. According to the research firm Allied Market Research, the global smart robot market is expected to reach $17.56 billion by 2025. The need for efficiency and automation has driven the growth in the industry. Following are some of the recent innovations taking place in the industry:

Digit to deliver products at doorsteps with help of self-driving cars:

Innovative smart robots would make save energy of humans in mundane tasks. Ford and Agility Robotics have collaborated to design a system to make self-driving car and intelligent robots work together for delivery purposes. The objective behind this idea is to save the energy of humans with an application of robotics.

The self-driving cars can bring delivery items such as pizza, packages, and groceries to nearby places of the delivery address. However, smart robots can deliver that package to the door of the customer. The proposed idea is a self-driving car would reach the nearby position of the delivery address, a robot would come out from the back, pick up the package, and deliver it to the door of a customer.

This robot is known as Digit and developed by Agility Robotics. Digit mimics the gait of a human and climbs up and down the stairs. Ken Washington, the Chief Technology Officer at Ford, outlined that the robot can walk through the uneven terrains and react to obstacles without losing the balance.

Digit is equipped with LiDAR and other sensors that help in finding a path. It has a lifting capacity of 40 pounds. In the next few years, self-driving cars will be equipped with the ability to carry people and goods simultaneously. This will make deliveries more efficient and convenient.

Xiaomi’s smart robot vacuum cleaner to clean corners:

There is an alternative for noise-making, expensive vacuum cleaners presented by Xiaomi. Its Mijia Smart Robot Vacuum Cleaner is designed to operate at the optimum performance. It is equipped with a novel side brush that can reach hard-to-reach corners to make sure the room is dust-free.

In addition, this brush thoroughly cleans carpets and eliminates pet hair. As a part of maintenance, these brushes are easy to remove and remove. It is backed by a 1800PA large suction with noise lower than 55dB. This vacuum cleaner robot costs lower than many other available in the market.

It can also be connected to a mobile phone through Wi-Fi. Its 96 mm slim design enables it to reach corners. It is equipped with 420ML dust box and a 5200mAH long-life battery. It has an ability to sweep nearly 250 square meters space without any interruption.

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Weed-killing robots to save costs:

There will be widespread usage of smart robots in various farming applications. Market players have developed robots that can perform a multitude of tasks including plucking fruits, mowing, sowing, and others. These robots carry out tasks faster along with saving overall costs, which in turn, helps farmers in availing better margins.

SwarmFarm Robotics has been offering weed-killing robots that can carry out tasks such as mowing and spreading on lease. The company stated that these machines are smarter and smaller as compared to traditional machines. Arcturus Downs adopted these robots as a part of a pilot program in 2018.

Sam Bradford, a farm manager at Arcturus Downs, outlined that the usage of four robots for killing weeds. Though the company used 120-foot-wide, 16-ton giant spraying machines in the past, the precision of these robots is unmatched. There was a distinction between the dull brown color of the paddock of the farm and green foliage. Then spread the chemicals directly at the weeds.

This task has been performed by the company twice or thrice a year over 20,000 acres. The implementation of these robots resulted in a saving of 80% of the overall chemical costs. Bradford outlined that the savings on the chemical is huge and there is also saving of the environment as fewer chemicals are used. Moreover, there is a better result in the end.

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Researchers at NASA to develop soft robots for space exploration:

Soft robotics will be utilized for space exploration as researchers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have been investigating viability. Jack Fitzpatrick and Chuck Sullivan, interns at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, have been testing soft robotics for assembly and exploration at the space. Highly flexible materials are utilized for robot movements that are similar to living organisms.

Two researchers have developed a soft robotic actuator to animate and control the moving parts of a robot. 3D printing has been used to determine how soft robotic components can be developed and used in space. There are air bladders or chambers with tubes in actuators that enable the control of movements of soft robots. These chambers compress or expand depending upon the level of air filled in them.

However, researchers are able to adjust the amount of air allowed in the chambers, which enables robots to flex and relax similar to human muscles. These researchers have been trying to devise potential uses and limitations of these robots in space.

There are four properties such as joining, mobility, leveling, and strengthening that have been tested. Sullivan outlined that they have been trying to find out the basic potential of soft robots based on these properties. So, when others will research on soft robotics, they can view this work as a baseline.

Read More: AWS RoboMaker made available to Developers

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