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Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

robotics and artificial intelligence

Robotics and artificial intelligence are two areas that are now undoubtedly the most actively developing fields of science and technology. Moreover, it is not only that some theoretical successes are achieved in the laboratories by scientists (here, in fact, progress is perhaps not so noticeable), but rather, there are a lot of practical applications of these fields. Ready-made robotic systems, artificial intelligence systems, and so on are spreading beyond the limits of research centers.

Large, small, and medium-sized businesses are beginning to take an interest in robotics and artificial intelligence. A large number of start-ups are working on this. Even the layperson knows a thing or two about robotics and artificial intelligence as it’s always making the headlines. Keep reading to learn more about these exciting fields!

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence – Same or Different?

Artificial intelligence and robotics are becoming a part of our reality, which is changing rapidly. In this connection, I would like to talk about one fundamental error, which is very often unfortunately encountered, especially in recent times. It lies in the fact that most people consider that robots and artificial intelligence as one and the same.

In fact, this is a very big and harmful delusion. To understand that this is not so, it is enough to give a few examples. For example, the history of pro-drones, which have been actively developing lately. These are small drones, typically known as Copters, but also called in different ways. They are now widely used for video shooting and other entertainment purposes. You have probably seen them. If you notice this drone, then, you will probably see the operator who manages it if you carefully look around. In fact, this flying robot acts only in accordance with what commands the person gives him. He has no intelligence. In fact, it’s just a remote control.

Rescue robots or space robots are part of a more classical, established area in robotics known as telerobotics. Rovers, too, are teleoperated machines. When specialists from the control center transmitted radio signals, the task of the lunar rover is to work them out, to do what the person would tell him. In principle, even now the vast majority of robots that are being made or already made are actually such controlled machines.

One can give an example from the reverse side – when the artificial intelligence system does not need any robot; it is self-sufficient in some sense. A classic example is an online translator or a program that translates automatically from one language to another. It is generally accepted that processing information and the texts of natural languages is a complex task. All sorts of semantic analysis of information, extraction of meanings from the text, automatic translation – it’s always been of interest to specialists in the field of artificial intelligence.

These programs now are very common. If you enter a phrase in a mobile phone and press the button, the artificial intelligence will translate it in the automatic mode. That is, here is the reverse situation of the pro-drones: there is an artificial intelligence, but there is no robot.

Even scientific classification and educational tracts distinguish artificial intelligence from robotics. For example, robotics are put in the area of engineering sciences, and everything related to artificial intelligence is closer to computer science.

And if you look at the training programs of leading technical universities, both at the level of undergraduate and graduate programs, we will see that usually everything related to robotics will be taught more by the engineering faculty. The disciplines related to artificial intelligence and machine learning are under computer science. Thus, although there is a lot of overlap between robotics and artificial intelligence, these are still different fields of activity.

Robotics

What is the point of robots? It’s easier to look at the task through the eyes of robotics. People create new robotic systems in order to design a new organism at the body level. A robot has a skeleton, is equipped with a nervous system – all kinds of wires, actuators and so on. At the same time, the scientist is engaged in the calculation of mainly kinematic schemes of motion, dynamics. He understands the theory of control, in order to understand which regulators will work best and which control laws work and which do not. He makes and calculates prototypes, conducts experimental studies of these prototypes, and so on, until the controlled piece of hardware – the robot – is perfected.

A wire is connected to the robot and a person sends commands. As if by a miracle, the robot really accurately and smoothly executes them. It can walk, fly, crawl – depending on what kind of robot it is. At the same time, it does not fall, does not make any sudden movements. It can act and function both in the cold and hot weather, laboratory conditions and in the real world. This is the ultimate goal of classical robotics. There is a very, very large amount of work in this field. It is necessary to conduct a lot of experiments and research to create a robot that can accurately perform commands. And artificial intelligence does not even play a role yet.

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Together

But if we want to move forward, if we want to make it so that our robot will solve some problems for itself, that’s where specialists in the field of artificial intelligence come in. What do they do? They take their models, methods, implement them in the form of algorithms – that is, in the form of some software – and “sew” this software on a small portable computer, which then becomes part of this robot. That is, in addition to the skeleton, the muscular frame, the nervous system, they give it, relatively speaking, the brain in which artificial intelligence sits. This increases the degree of autonomy. We can say to a sophisticated robot: “Bring me something sweet” – it will recognize the command, understand what is required of it, and retrieve a cookie or a piece of cake.

The future is behind such robotic systems – these systems that can solve complex problems independently. Right now these intellectual robots are the focus of attention – that is, robots that sit at the intersection of artificial intelligence and robotics. Creating intelligent robots is now the most difficult, important, and promising task.

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