fbpx

loading the future of Autonomous Mobile Robots

+

Reach out and we will get back to you!

    08.03.2024
    Exploring the Roboverse: Types of Robots and Their Uses

    With continuous technological advancements, robotics is becoming more innovative and efficient. As a result, using robots is now indispensable to ensure ample productivity and market competitiveness for various industries. From Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) navigating around a warehouse to domestic robots assisting people with tiresome house chores, these machines come in different sizes and shapes. This blog post covers the numerous types of robots and their respective uses in detail.

    The sources say that the world was home to a whopping 3.4 million robots in 2023. And that was just the number of industrial robots. Many other types are not even accounted for. The reason behind this surge is their efficiency and productivity, which, in turn, comes from their specificity and precision. Being specific means there are particular robotic categories, each performing an intended task. Knowing the various types of robots and their functions is thus crucial for optimising efficiency, driving innovation and making the most of this technology.

    What Types of Robots are There?

    There are several ways to divide robots. The following classification uses their application, degree of movement, and autonomy as the distinguishing factors.

    5 Types of Robots Based on Application:

    Robots serve many purposes, and categorising them based on their applications provides valuable insights into their functionality.

    1. Industrial Robots

    The manufacturing industry has been using robots for various processes, such as assembly, welding, and transportation, for many years. Recent advances in robotics have increased the usage of industrial robots as they ensure on-site safety and more productivity in businesses.

    Examples of industrial robots: Robotics arms or articulated robots are great for expediting manufacturing processes like assembly and welding as they work fast and precisely from a fixed spot. Meanwhile, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are more suitable for transportation and warehousing due to their mobility and navigation capabilities.

    An AMR working in a warehouse
    Our arculees at work inside a warehouse

    2. Medical Robots

    As the name indicates, medical robots are advanced machines performing different functions in the healthcare industry. Reports suggest they help increase precision in surgeries, efficiently disinfect hospitals, and deliver medicines and meals. Furthermore, humanoid social robots offer support to rehabilitate patients after trauma or surgeries. For example, robots communicate and nudge patients to take their medication on time.

    Examples of medical robots: Surgical arms help doctors with high-precision surgeries, automated disinfection systems take care of disease-infested areas to ensure the safety of hospital staff, patients, and visitors, and wearable exoskeletons increase accessibility for disabled people, allowing them to lift heavy objects and move more freely.

    3. Domestic Robots

    Domestic robots come in handy for floor cleaning, laundry, security/surveillance, and cooking. They are also in demand to provide companionship to older people and help them live more independently. For example, home robots not only take care of the household chores for older people but also greet them, talk to them, and even offer cognitive stimulation through games and other related activities.

    Examples of domestic robots: Vacuum cleaner robots clean the floors, while some autonomous robots can wash and fold laundry. They take the burden of home management off your shoulders so you can prioritise other things, such as spending time with your friends and family without burning out.

    4. Service Robots

    This broad category comprises all kinds of robots assisting humans. The main idea behind service robots is to help humans with their work and ensure a better consumer experience. Thanks to their utility in performing various tasks, like valet parking, food delivery, and concierge services, there has been a tremendous increase in their demand since 2016.

    Examples of service robots: Concierge robots at hotels deliver food and utilities to rooms, reserve tours and restaurants for guests, and retail service robots provide helpful information to customers.

    5. Entertainment Robots

    All robots accomplish a specific job, but then what about the ones that are only there for the sake of fun? Well, their purpose is to provide entertainment. So, they are programmed to do certain routines like dancing, singing, and speaking to please an audience. You will find them more commonly in amusement parks and haunted houses to offer thrill and adventure, in trade shows for promos and marketing purposes, and as toys for kids.

    Examples of entertainment robots: Toy robots interact with the environment and the kids to increase their creativity and imagination, robotic dogs offer companionship, humanoid entertainer robots suitable for parties and events, and promotion robots.

    2 Types of Robots Based on Mobility:

    Another way to classify the robots is by their degree of movement:

    1. Mobile Robots

    Mobile robots are automatic machines that use sensors and other technology to identify and navigate their surroundings. These include Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). While AGVs move along a predetermined path, AMRs travel autonomously.

    Examples of mobile robots: AMRs such as arculees and AGVs like Jungheinrich EKS 215a find extensive use in warehouse automation by ensuring safe and efficient transportation.

    Jungheinrich Mobile Robots standing in a warehouse
    Jungheinrich Mobile Robots for warehouse automation

    2. Stationary or Fixed Robots

    In contrast to mobile robots, stationary robots work from a fixed location. They are more suitable for high-precision tasks like welding, assembly, lifting, and insertion. The manufacturing industry heavily employs different types of fixed robots depending on the nature of the required job.

    Examples of stationary robots: Companies often use Cartesian or Gantry robots for lifting and assembling components as they offer fast and efficient linear movement and Selective Compliant Assembly Robot Arms or SCARA for insertion tasks due to their flexible movement in the XY-axis but rigidity in the Z-axis.

    TL;DR

    Robotics has evolved to engineer innovative automatic and autonomous machines with numerous applications. These robots can be either mobile or stationary, depending on their degree of movement. Based on their application, they can also be domestic, industrial, medical, service, and entertainment robots. Many types overlap, and the choice of robot eventually depends on the task at hand.

    The conclusion? Ongoing advancements in robotics promise a future where robot applications will continue to evolve and diversify, opening doors to more innovation and possibilities.