One of the things we miss most working from home is not getting to see MOTAT’s amazing robots on display in Machine Makers. In these modern times though, you don’t need to look far to find a mechanical marvel.
The word ‘robot’ was coined in 1921 by a Czech playwright. In his play Rossum’s Universal Robots, Karel Čapek told a story about life-like machines getting fed up with their human creators and taking over the world. We need not fear, though. We can see plenty of examples of robotics in our daily lives and so far, they only make our lives easier.
Let’s look at the examples at MOTAT.
ASEA et al. Industrial Robot [IRB6, Allmänna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget (ASEA)], 2017.52.2. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT)
Robotic arms worked in factories for decades. This ASEA model IRB6 was built in 1975. It would have been part of a series of arms lined up next to a conveyor belt. The arms were all programmed to weld together parts of aircraft engines.
REMOTEC, Inc.. 2006. Bomb Disposal Robot [Andros F6A], 2018.27. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT)
Remotec’s Andros F6A is a bomb disposal robot. For years it was at the ready at an airport to investigate any suspicious packages. A human controls the robot from a safe distance, using a camera and torch mounted on the robot’s arm.
University of Auckland et al. 2017. Robotic Hand [New Dexterity], 2019.131. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT)
Auckland University’s New Dexterity Research Group developed this cool robotic hand. They are trying to replicate the movements of human hands to make even better industrial robots.
As you can see today’s robots may be harmless, but they’re certainly not armless!
Where can you see robots in your everyday life? Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a robotic vacuum cleaner or lawn mower.
If not, keep an eye out on rubbish day. Your neighbourhood’s bins just might get emptied by another incredible robot arm.