Friday, March 27, 2020

Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Mechanical Engineering

Since the beginning of existence, man has evolved as the most adapting species on this planet. The capabilities of advanced learning, reasoning and perception are intrinsic to mankind and this potential for evolving new pathways and creating new fields and theories by constantly progressing in the field of technology has helped man achieve many milestones. One such field where constant progress is being made in today’s world is Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

Artificial intelligence essentially refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. AI is presently being used in many fields such as education, games, healthcare, finance, marketing, and many more. But the fact remains that despite continuous progress, we are still very far from utilizing it to its full potential. This is because man hasn't yet fully understood and captured the capabilities of human intelligence. The progress that we have made so far in this direction is just the tip of the iceberg. If we wish to advance to the next level then extensive research needs to be conducted in this field so that we can experience a better quality of life and can focus on working at aspects that are more critical and important. 

Once the Artificial Intelligence based machines which can analyze and decide like human beings are developed, these intelligent machines need to be integrated with mechanical mechanisms for developing Robots so that human-like action or other desired actions could be performed. This is where the field of Mechanical Engineering which deals with all kinds of mechanisms, machines and physical devices shall play a major role. These hi-tech Robots will help us in performing tasks that involve risk, are difficult, or repetitive, thereby leaving man to focus on other productive creations. 

Figure 1: Material handling by a Robot 

Figure 2: Robots performing assembly 

Figure 3: Robots used in car manufacturing 

Robotsare already being used widely for performing various tasks in different industries. In the field of Mechanical Engineering, they are extensively being used where material handling, manufacturing, assembly and other operations are being performed. Certainly, their scope and applications can further be expanded in many other directions. The interesting and exciting field of multidisciplinary applications of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Mechanical Engineering once fully explored and utilized further will lead to amazing outcomes. Inter-disciplinary research in this emerging field is the need of the hour as Robots that perform actions based on human-like intelligence can be used not only in industrial applications but also in our day-to-day lives. 

Dr. Pramod Bhatia 
Department of Mechanical Engineering 

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