Amazing Breakthroughs in Robotics

Probably one of the most exciting branches of science, robotics has gone a long way from being a mere concept presented in Hollywood to a steadily developing reality. From the name itself, robotics deals with the development of robots, as well as other factors that contribute to their operation such as control systems and information processing. It combines different concepts from different branches such as electronic engineering, computer science, and mechanical engineering.

Amazing Breakthroughs in Robotics

A Brief History

Robotics actually started as early as 1023 to 957 BC when an engineer named Yan Shi started visualizing automata (a self-operating machine) and presented to King Mu of the Zhou dynasty a life-sized figure of what he was imagining. From there, a number of other descriptions of machines were written by Heron of Alexandria during 1st century AD. All these progressed to further experimentation with machines which would later on be the foundation for modern robotics.

In 1495, actual sketches were created by Leonardo da Vinci for a humanoid robot. In the period between 1700 and 1900, Jacques de Vaucanson came up with a mechanical duck that could actually move. It had the ability to flap its wings and crane its neck. It even had the ability to swallow food! More machines were built in the following years, including Henry Ford’s assembly line that assembled a car in 93 minutes.

It was Japan that produced the first robot toy that moved. Standing 15cm tall, it was a wind-up toy that had the ability to walk on its own. In 1954, the first industrial robot was created by Joe Engleberger and George Devol. It was a programmable robotic arm that was capable of completing repetitive tasks. It was eventually used for General Motors’ assembly line in 1962.

Throughout this period, movies, plays and books were already starting to discuss the possibility of having robots within the midst of the human race.

Modern Robotics

Today, robotics has evolved into something both entertaining and useful. In 2009, a project done by the University of Cambridge and the Aberystwyth University resulted in a “robot scientist” called Adam which was able to hypothesize and design experiments on its own. In 2012, two stroke victims were implanted with computer chips, allowing them to control a robotic arm to do simple tasks for them. Other designs are still being developed to help those who have disabilities such as a wearable device playing the role of muscles, ligaments and tendons that could help in foot rehabilitation. This is currently being developed in the Carnegie Mellon University Department of Robotics.

 

Food Technology in the New Year

Is there anything as simple as food? To most people, dinner means simply popping some food or soup in the microwave and having some grub. To others it might mean a few hours of slowly cooking beef but either way, it basically involves putting food on a source of heat and waiting for it to cook. However, as technology advances so do the way people prepare their food. Check out the latest food technology and trends for the year!

3-D Print Your Food

3-D Print Your Food

Are you hankering for a home-cooked meal made from the finest fresh ingredients? Now there is a way to enjoy it with just the press of a button. A company called Foodini has come up with a plug-and-play food printer that may just be a gift from the heavens to all the home chefs out there. All that needs to be done is to prep the fresh food ahead of time using a blender or food processor and load the processed food into the food capsules. The printer will use the food in the capsules to follow your recipe. Such machines are expected to retail at around $1300.

Don’t Waste Your Food – Give it to Strangers

Do you remember your parents telling you to finish the food on your plate since there are starving children in other parts of the world? Now you do not have to finish your food since a stranger can do it for you! Many companies are trying to find ways to reduce food wastage and one highly-useful but also highly-controversial technology is something called LeftoverSwap. They offer an online database where people can list their leftovers in the database and strangers can trade or just take the food. There are a lot of hazards that might arise from this but the site says it hinges on trust like other successful sites such as Feastly, AirBnB, etc.

Plant-based Protein For Mass Consumption

The race is on to look for protein substitutes that will feed the masses and Hampton Creek Foods is in the lead. It is backed by the likes of Bill Gates, Peter Thiel, and Khosla Ventures. It produced a mayo substitute that hit whole food shelves just this year and retails for the same price as the real thing. They say their product is better for the environment since it produces fewer emissions and needs much less resources which makes it more affordable to produce as compared to chicken and other types of meat.