Automation and Robotics
With the modernization of industries, automation of various processes using appropriate machines and technologies is increasing exponentially. Implementation of automation helps in achieving high degrees of precision and in performing numerous complex operations in a very quick time. It not only reduces the efforts of humans but also improves the quality of various products. Robotics is a widely adopted automation methodology. The use of robotic arms in the manufacturing of automobile assemblies is commonly known but now the adoption of similar technologies is also occurring in delicate manufacturing processes like the manufacturing of electronic components, in the pharmaceutical industry, in the telecom industry and the list goes on.
Robotic systems are broadly diversified into three categories:
Manual Robots: As the name suggests, manual robots are solely controlled by human inputs. These robots are specifically designed to reduce human efforts. They are commonly used in Logistics operations and Infrastructure related operations.
Semi-Automatic Robots: A semi-automatic robot has limited human inputs and has a processing unit to perform various tasks. These robots incorporate sensors, controllers, and actuators. They can easily be programmed to perform various tasks. They find wide use, for instance, in Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machines frequently used in the manufacturing of precision components.
Fully-Automatic Robots: A fully-Automatic robot is the most advanced category of robots. Such robots have the exceptional capability of self-learning by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods. These robots are designed for high end uses only. ASIMO is an example of such a robot developed by Honda.
Since the 1950s, scientists, programmers, and engineers have been patenting robotic attributes. Both robotic hardware and robotic software can be patented by an inventor. Robotics is a powerful and incredible industry, and whenever such a large industry changes, the patent industry seems to change along with it. The recent developments in robotics research and production are sure to influence the patent world, attempting to shape it to fit what is needed to advance technology.