What Is the Definition of an Autonomous Robot?
According to Waypoint Robotics, the definition of an autonomous robot is an intelligent machine that “can perform tasks and operate in an environment independently, without human control or intervention”.
Another important detail is that autonomous robots gather information from their environments in order to make decisions and operate correctly (Robot Workx). So, they can avoid harmful situations for people or themselves and they can easily adapt to changes in the environment.
Autonomous robots (or autonomous mobile robots) usually go through three main processes: perception, decision, and actuation.
What Is an Example of an Autonomous Robot?
Perhaps the easiest and most common example of an autonomous robot is the robotic vacuum cleaner. The device uses a set of sensors to navigate, map out the space and track its movements in order to cover entire areas.
The autonomous vacuum cleaner is capable of avoiding objects and drops (e.g. the edge of a step). So it’s clear that under normal conditions, the device can operate without any human intervention.
What Are the Main Industries That Utilize Autonomous Robots?
1. Autonomous Robots for Warehousing
Automated machines are used for monotonous and labor-intensive jobs such as transporting goods, palletizing, and heavy lifting. Some examples include automated platforms, lift plates, and robotic arms.
The main benefit that autonomous robots bring to warehousing is that they reduce the time and effort spent by employees on repetitive tasks. Hence, they can focus on more value-added tasks. At the same time, robots specifically designed for warehouses are equipped with tools that help them be more efficient than human-operated devices.
2. Autonomous Robots for eCommerce
ECommerce companies can streamline their inventory management processes by utilizing autonomous robots. They can be used for sorting parcels, fulfilling orders, and handling returns.
3. Autonomous Robots for Manufacturing
It’s a known fact that most manufacturing processes rely on autonomous robots, but let’s take a look at the specific ways they’re helping.
Conveyors are used for speeding up production and sorting. With automated mobile attachments, they can also move products within the facility in a more efficient way.
Robotic arms are helpful for sorting, picking and packing products faster and more efficiently. Also, some of them are able to move between different locations, which makes them even more practical.
4. Autonomous Robots for Healthcare
Autonomous Mobile Robots are especially useful for transporting materials in spaces with high risks of infections, as it prevents healthcare personnel from coming into close contact with the patients.
At the same time, they can be used for sanitation and disinfection, as they can efficiently clean healthcare facilities while not putting people at risk. On top of operating independently, they can be effectively decontaminated after fulfilling their purpose.
Surgical assistants are also starting to grow in popularity, as they can be controlled remotely by surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures (The American Society of Mechanical Engineers).