Robotics can be defined as the study of robots; which are electro-mechanical machines used to carry out certain tasks. Some of the common robots are used in hazardous places as they are capable of performing tasks that humans are restricted or unable to perform themselves.

Certain robots can function independently while other robots require the assistance of humans to carry out tasks or to tell the robot the task that is about to be carried out. Robots can be deployed in various fields including medical, space communication, military applications etc.

An automatic robot is a type of manipulated robotic system, widely considered to be one of the first robotic systems based on the control system it uses. Automatic robots can be further divided into four main categories depending on their characteristics and applications.

Manipulation robotic systems are categorized into three key types:

  1. Autonomous controlled robots
  2. Remote-controlled robots
  3. Manually controlled robots
    Autonomous robots are usually deployed to carry out industrial tasks. While remote-controlled robots are deployed in environments that are restricted or hazardous for humans. The manually controlled robots are mainly used for handling goods as well as for transportation.

Types of Autonomous Robotic System

Carrying on from the three types of manipulation robot systems, the autonomous system can be further divided into four distinct types:

  • Programmable
  • Non-programmable
  • Adaptive
  • Intelligent

1. Programmable Automatic Robot
A programmable robot is a first-generation robot that possesses an actuator facility on each joint. The robots can be reprogrammed according to the application or task they are assigned to carry out. The function and application of the robots can also be modified through reprogramming after the robot initially to carry out a function in the provided pattern and sequence.

Robotic kits can enable students to gain an in-depth look at its programming and inner workings. The advanced mobile robot, robotic arms and gadgeteer are a few examples of such programmable robots.

A key limitation of autonomous robots is that once it is programmed, it persists operation even when there is a change in tasks (for instance, in an emergency). These robots can be deployed in various applications including mobile robotics, industrial controlling and spacecraft applications.

2. Non-Programmable Automatic Robot
The basic kinds of robots or even non-programmable robots. It is also sometimes not considered to be a robot, but rather an exploiter with a reprogrammable controlling device. The mechanical arms used in industries are great examples of these types of robots as they are generally attached to the programmable devices used by manufacturers for mass production.

These kinds of robots are routinely deployed in some of the devices including path guiders and medical product carriers as well as some assembly line robots.

3. Adaptive Robot
Adaptive robots can also be described as industrial robots that can be adapted independently to different stages in the process. However, such robots tend to be more sophisticated than programmable robots. These can be adapted up to a certain level and after proper evaluation, can perform the tasks required in that adapted area. These robots are usually equipped with sensors and control systems.

Sensors provide an outlook on environmental conditions, process variables and other related parameters to the selected task. The feedback control system accesses these signals from the sensors and according to the algorithm implemented, it controls the outputs.

Adaptive robots are usually deployed in applications such as spraying and welding systems. Robotic gripper and 2 – finger adaptive gripper robots and good examples of this autonomous robot. Such robots can be deployed in various applications like aerospace, medical, consumer goods, household applications and manufacturing industrial areas.

4. Intelligent Robots
Intelligent robots, like the name suggests, are the most intelligent among all types of robots and are equipped with sensors and microprocessors for the storage and processing of data. The performance of these robots is highly efficient owing to their situation-based analysis and task-performing capabilities. Intelligent robots can sense things like pain, smell and even taste. These can also see and hear, and use these senses to perform certain human actions and expressions such as emotions, thinking and learning.

These robots are routinely deployed in the field of medicine, military applications and home appliance control systems etc.

These four types of autonomous robotic systems can be implemented over a wide array of applications across several industry segments and are crucial for increasing efficiency and accuracy within processes.