Technology Technology

What is Automation and Robotics? A Free Tech Guide

Automation and robotics are significant pillars of modern technology that have a profound impact on our daily lives. These terms might sound complex, but they are quite simple to understand at their core. So, what is automation and robotics?

In this article, we will break down the concepts of automation and robotics, explaining what they are, how they work, and how they reshape our world. So, let’s take a journey to demystify these fascinating technological advancements.

1. The Basics of Automation

What is Automation and Robotics? A man is controlling a robotic arm
By ThisIsEngineering / Pexels

Automation is all about machines and technology taking over tasks with minimal human involvement. It aims to make processes more efficient, consistent, and cost-effective, whether it’s in our homes or industries.

1.1. The Building Blocks of Automation

To understand automation, we need to know its fundamental components and principles.

1.1.1. Sensors and Actuators

Sensors are the most important and basic part of automation. They collect data from the surroundings, such as motion, temperature, or light. Actuators, on the other hand, are like the arms and legs- they carry out actions based on the information from sensors.

1.1.2. Control Systems

Control systems act as the brains of automation. They receive data from sensors, process it, and finally decide what actions actuators should take. These systems can be as simple as a thermostat maintaining room temperature or as complex as a fully automated factory production line.

1.1.3. Feedback Loops

Automation often uses feedback loops where the system continuously evaluates its performance and makes adjustments. For example, a cruise control system in a car that adjusts speed based on sensor data and feedback.

1.2. Types of Automation

wires are connected in complex pattern
By Brett Sayles / Pexels

Automation comes in various forms, each designed for specific tasks and industries. Let’s talk about some common types.

1.2.1. Fixed Automation

Fixed automation, or complex automation, is designed for a particular, repetitive task. It’s highly specialized and not easily adaptable to new tasks. Think of an assembly line in manufacturing.

1.2.2. Programmable Automation

Programmable automation is more flexible than hard automation. Machines can be reprogrammed to handle different tasks. CNC(Computer Numerical Control) machines in manufacturing are a good example.

1.2.3. Flexible Automation

Flexible automation leverages the advantages of both fixed and programmable automation. It can adapt to a range of tasks while maintaining efficiency. Modern robotic arms used in industries are excellent examples.

1.2.4. Industrial Automation

Industrial automation focuses on automating various processes within factories and production lines. It often involves robotics and advanced control systems to improve efficiency and quality.

1.2.5. Home Automation

Home automation uses smart devices and technology to control household functions like lighting, heating, and security. Devices such as smart thermostats and voice-activated assistants, like Amazon Alexa.

2. Demystifying Robotics

Introduction to robotics: Robotic components. Types and classification

Now that we have understood automation, let’s explore robotics, a specialised form of automation involving machines capable of performing complex tasks with varying degrees of autonomy.

2.1. Key Components of Robots

Robots consist of numerous essential components, forming intricate machines.

2.1.1. Sensors

Sensors help robots to understand their environment. They can include cameras, proximity detectors, and more, providing data to the robot’s control system.

2.1.2. Control Systems

The control system in a robot is its “brain”. It processes sensor data and makes decisions on how the robot should act. Advanced control systems use algorithms and artificial intelligence for better decision-making.

2.1.3. Actuators

Actuators execute the robot’s actions. These could be motors, hydraulics, or other mechanisms that move the robot’s body and limbs. The control system instructs the actuators based on sensor data.

2.1.4 Power Supply

Robots need a power source to operate, ranging from batteries to electrical outlets or specialised power systems for large industrial robots.

2.2 Types of Robots

a quadcopter drone flying in the sky
By Oleksandr P / Pexels

A wide variety of robots are designed for specific tasks and environments. Some common types of robots include:

2.2.1 Industrial Robots

Industrial robots find common usage in manufacturing and production, performing tasks like welding, painting, or assembling products.

2.2.2. Service Robots

Service robots assist humans in various tasks, including healthcare, agriculture, and cleaning.

2.2.3. Military and Defence Robots

These robots are used for reconnaissance, bomb disposal, and other military applications, reducing human exposure to dangerous situations.

2.2.4. Robotics Process Automation (RPA)

Robotics Process Automation involves software robots that automate repetitive office tasks, such as data processing, database management, and administrative duties.

2.2.5. Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles, like self-driving cars, are a prime example of robotics applied to transportation.

2.3. The Evolution of Robotics

Robotics has evolved significantly over the years. Early robots were often rigid and mechanical, while modern robots incorporate artificial intelligence and soft robotics for more flexibility and adaptability.

3. Automation and Robotics in Daily Life

A woman is teaching robotics to a boy
By Alena Darmel / Pexels

The extent to which automation and robotics have become integrated into our daily lives is more extensive than we might realise. Here are some ways these technologies are impacting us:

3.1. Smart Homes

Smart home devices, such as thermostats that learn your preferences and voice-activated virtual assistants, are becoming more common, making our lives more convenient and efficient.

3.2. Healthcare

Robots assist in surgeries, rehabilitation, and medication delivery, offering precise, error-free solutions to healthcare challenges.

3.3. E-commerce and Warehousing

Automation and robotics have revolutionized e-commerce, with robots sorting and packing warehouse items. Drones are also being tested for package deliveries.

3.4. Agriculture

Agriculture robots monitor crops plant, harvest, enhance efficiency, and work in challenging conditions.

3.5. Manufacturing

close up look of modern machinery
By KJ Brix / Pexels

Robots have transformed the production process, working consistently with high precision and increasing factory productivity.

3.6. Transportation

Self-driving cars and autonomous drones are changing transportation, promising safer and more efficient mobility.

Revolutionizing Culinary Craftsmanship: Network Automation Personal Account

Corrie Duffy, a chef and passionate food blogger at Corrie Cooks, shares:

“At one restaurant where I worked, we introduced a cutting-edge sous vide machine that took precision cooking to a whole new level.

It allowed us to maintain the perfect temperature for extended periods, resulting in consistently tender and flavorful dishes.

Also, [in my home kitchen], I’ve got this nifty smart oven. It’s got all sorts of pre-programmed settings, and I can control it remotely with my phone.

Perfect for those days when I’m experimenting with new recipes and need to keep a close eye on things while I’m away.

It’s not the same as having a full kitchen staff, but it [sure] does make solo cooking sessions a lot more manageable.”

Corrie Duffy
Corrie Duffy

4. Impact on the Workforce

machine used in production
By Julio Muebles / Pexels

The widespread adoption of automation and robotics has become a concern about employment. Let’s examine this aspect more closely.

4.1. Job Displacement

Automation has the potential to result in the replacement of specific occupations, particularly those that entail repetitive and manual duties like office and administration, transportation and logistics, and production labour. This can concern workers in industries where automation is rapidly advancing.

4.2. Job Creation

Conversely, automation and robotics also create new jobs, including positions related to robot maintenance, software development, and overseeing automated systems.

4.3. Job Transformation

Many jobs will transform due to automation. Workers may collaborate with robots or use automation tools to enhance their productivity.

4.4. Skills Development

The workforce of the future will require different skills. Adaptability, problem-solving, and proficiency in technology will become increasingly important.

Adapting Leadership and HR Strategies for Automation: A CEO’s Perspective

As a CEO at Must Read Quotes and entrepreneur in the digital industry, Maurizio Petrone has come to understand that the impact of automation on jobs is both a concern and an opportunity.

Undeniably, certain jobs may [be at risk of] becoming obsolete due to technological advancements. However, this also opens up new avenues for work that didn’t exist before.

From my experience running a remote-first digital media startup, I have seen a shift in hiring trends. We now prioritize tech-savviness and adaptability to change more than ever before.

For instance, our recruitment for AI specialists and software developers has increased by 50% over the past three years.

And it’s not only tech roles; our digital marketing team frequently employs automation tools for efficiency, demanding new skill sets.

Moreover, it’s essential to address the workforce’s fear of automation right on. One way we do this is by offering reskilling programs. In our company, for example, we developed in-house training for IT skills or older employees. 

In the greater picture, we should see automation as a chance to drive societal progression. Jobs that can be automated can free workers from repetitive tasks and give them opportunities to engage in more meaningful and creative work.

The key lies in adopting the right strategies and policies to help the workforce adapt and transition smoothly.

Maurizio Petrone
Maurizio Petrone

5. Ethical and Social Considerations

group of people attending a meeting
By fauxels / Pexels

With the increasing integration of automation and robotics into our daily lives, it’s imperative to address these technologies’ ethical and societal consequences.

5.1. Ethical Dilemmas

Automation raises ethical questions, especially in fields like autonomous vehicles. Who is responsible if a self-driving car is involved in an accident? How should robots be programmed to make difficult moral decisions?

5.2. Threat to Employees

Automation’s potential for job displacement can lead to economic and social challenges. Governments and industries must address these concerns to ensure a smooth transition for affected workers.

5.3. Privacy and Security

Smart homes and the increasing use of robotics in healthcare raise concerns about privacy and data security. As we collect and share more of our personal information, ensuring our data is kept safe and secure becomes very important.

5.4. Environment Impact

While automation and robotics can enhance efficiency, they consume energy and resources. It’s essential to develop environmentally sustainable technologies.

5.5. Access and Inequality

It’s important to ensure everyone can enjoy the advantages of automation and robotics. The digital divide and the potential for economic inequality must be addressed.

6. The Future of Automation and Robotics

Robotic arm pointing on a wall
By Tara Winstead / Pexels

What lies ahead in the future for automation and robotics? Here are some important trends to watch out for.

6.1. AI Integration

Artificial intelligence will play an increasingly significant role in automation and robotics, enabling machines to learn and adapt to new tasks

6.2. Collaborative Robots (Cobots)

Collaboration robots, designed to work alongside humans, will become more prevalent in manufacturing and other industries.

6.3. Healthcare Advancements

Robots in healthcare will continue to evolve, potentially assisting with surgeries and caregiving tasks.

6.4. Education and Training

Preparing the workforce for automation and robotics will involve investing in education and training programs focusing on relevant skills.

6.5. Sustainability

Sustainability robotics, designed with eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient components, will be a priority.

Financial Expert’s Take on AI Integration and Collaborative Robots Impacting Business

As an experienced financial expert and founder of The Credit ReviewAndy Chang has witnessed first-hand the transformative impact of AI integration and collaborative robots in various sectors, especially the finance and banking industries.

The most impactful trend – AI integration – has the potential to reshape traditional business models and drive innovation.

Examples include using sophisticated AI algorithms to enhance credit decisions, risk management, and fraud detection. AI chatbots are becoming increasingly common, providing 24/7 customer service and streamlining operations.

The rise of robo-advisors in managing investments points to an exciting future of finance powered by AI.

On the other hand, while Collaborative robots have shown promise in the manufacturing sector, their integration in finance and banking is still a work in progress.

Observing these trends, one can’t help but acknowledge that AI’s ability to analyze large data sets, automate tasks, and learn from patterns significantly drives change in banking and finance.

However, a balanced approach is required as both trends have ethical and security considerations to consider.

Andy Chang
Andy Chang

7. Convenience Through Automation

A boy is holding a wheel robot
By Vanessa Loring / Pexels

To make the most of advanced tech like automation and robotics, we need to understand the basics and keep an eye on what’s new. It’s essential to consider the right and wrong ways to use these technologies.

With smart planning, responsible development, and always coming up with fresh ideas, we can create a future where machines help us in amazing ways, making life easier and helping us grow. So, by being careful and creative, we can build a world where automation and robots make our lives better and more convenient.

Guest Author: Saket Kumar

If you’ve ever gone through an ant infestation or currently going through one, you might want to know how to get rid of ants permanently. Below mentioned are a few ways on how to get rid of ants permanently.

Ants are tiny, powerful, and resilient creatures that are present everywhere. Ranging in 10,000 different ant species, they are present in all continents except Antarctica.

The most important thing to keep in mind while trying to get rid of ants in your household is to identify the species first. Different species have different living conditions. An important point to know while looking for ways on how to get rid of ants is to find the species of ants you’re dealing with.

Ant infestation is a process that ants go through to seek shelter. It means the incorporation of the ant species in suitable material materials wood or food.

Ants live in groups called “Ant Colonies“. The ant colonies are divided into two types of ants(sexual and asexual). The asexual ants are known as worker ants.

Ants are extremely resilient and can withstand extraordinary changes in the environment. Some ants are known to survive floods, they form bulk and can float in the water for days. In addition to being resilient, ants are super strong as well. An average ant can carry around 15 -50 times its weight.

Ants have amazing survival instincts, hence it might be hard to treat an ant infestation. Moreover, with suitable methods and proper knowledge, an ant infestation can be treated permanently.

What Is Ant Infestation

Ant infestation usually takes place during warmer months. They tend to incorporate themselves into various items such as logs and wood and form colonies. This is known as ant infestation.

How to get rid of ants
Image by Egor Kamelev/ pixels

Identification Of Ants Species

The first step in getting rid of ants is to determine what species are you dealing with. With over 10,000 ant species of ants present around the world. All the species have some distinct features which guide us through the identification process.

Some Major Species Of Ants Widely Found In Our Households

1. Fire Ants-

The best way to identify fire ants is by their skin colour. Fire ants tend to have a slightly red body colour that can range from reddish-brown to dark reddish-black. These ants also possess a stinger near the mouth region.

How to get rid of ants
Image by Egor Kamalev/  pexels
2. Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants are usually black or reddish black and are relatively large. The name “Carpenter Ants” comes from the fact that they live inside wood by burrowing. They’re often misunderstood to eat wood but in truth, carpenter ants leave out a residue that looks like sawdust. Worker ants are also known as scout ants, go out of the ant colony in search of food.

While doing that, they leave a scented pheromone trail behind to find their way back. While returning, they follow the pheromones that serve as ant trails which leads the scout ants back to their colonies. Because they live inside wooden logs and doors, they are can’t be located very easily, hence, are hard to get rid of. The nest or colony of a Carpenter Ant is really hard to find.

3. Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants, also known as sugar ants are known for disgusting rotten coconut-like smells. They are smaller as compared to other ants. Odorous house ants have dark black or brown bodies. Another distinct character of odorous house ants is that they have an unevenly shaped thorax (neck) when viewed from the side.

4. Argentine Ants

Argentine ants are known to have large legs. With the colour ranging from dark brown to black, the Argentine ants are moderately sized about 1/8 inches in length. As the name suggests, Argentine ants are found mainly in northern Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

5. Ghost Ants

Ghost ants have a distinct body colouration, with the head and thorax as dark brown colour, while the body is translucent. This translucent body makes the already tiny ghost ants look even tinier.

6. Pharaoh ants

Pharaoh ant is usually 2 mm in size. The colour of the Pharaoh ant usually varies from light yellow to translucent. They are known to be found in every part of the world. Pharaoh ants are known to feast mostly on sweets and sugar.

How to get rid of ants
Image by Jimmy Chan/ pexels
7. Big-headed Ant

Big-headed ants are also known as Pheidole. They cause a major ant problem if avoided. They were firstly found in the United States but then became a worldwide problem.

How To Get Rid Of Ants

Once you’ve identified the ant species, the next step includes control over the infestation. Controlling the infestation includes methods to kill ants based on the ant species and their habitat.

It’s important to decide the method which will be used to get rid of ants. Many ants form an ant nest, they seek shelter inside the ant nest and in case the ant nest is destroyed, getting rid of those ants gets easier.

Since ants are mostly attracted to food items, ant infestation on food items can be dealt with with ant sprays. While repelling ants is a solution, prevention would be a better option. Natural bug repellent can help in the case of ant problems. The primary characteristic of bug repellent includes repelling ants, which helps in keeping the ants away from your household.

How to get rid of ants
Image by Marco Neri/ Unsplash

Ant repellent is most useful in the case of Carpenter Ants since they infest wooden items, their nests can be easily spotted. Other ants also seek shelter in ant nests. If you can find the ant nest, getting rid of those ants with ant repellent can become easier.

How Do Get rid Of Ants Based On Their Ant Species

1. Fire Ants 

Fire Ants are bright red or reddish-brown. Fire Ant infestation can also be treated with repellent. If fire ants have infested your house, the most common way to get rid of them is to set up bait.

A bait can attract ants, hence, can make it easier to spot them and get rid of them. This is the best method to deal with an ant infestation in your home.

2. Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants are harder to get rid of, compared to other species. The reason being, that these ants infest tree stumps, damaged or wet wood, making it harder for us to find their nests. They can easily infest any wooden item inside your house as well.

Sometimes it can get difficult to spot their nest. How to get rid of ants if you cannot find their nest. The best way is to set up the bait, follow their trail, and track their nest.

Maple syrup acts as good bait. The scout ants will feed on the bait and retrace their steps back to their colony. You can follow the trail and locate their nests.

Once you’ve located their colony, pesticides can help in getting rid of these ants. Boric acid is usually used as a pesticide. Mixed with a bait, worker ants feed it to the entire colony.

Odorous House Ants

When dealing with odorous house ants several steps can be implemented –

  1. Baiting – The best way to deal with ants is using baits. Ants may prefer different types of food during different seasons, so it is advised to use different ant baits over time to attain better results. The bait mixed with a pesticide helps in getting rid of the entire colony.
  2. Using Indoor Sprays– The best way to efficiently use the ant spray is to use it on the entire nest. Locate their nest first and then use the ant spray thus eliminating the chances of these ants returning.
  3. Control Through Perimeter- Sealing the perimeter of the house with some pesticide may work combating ant problems. Spraying the perimeter of the house with pesticides will prevent the ants from entering the house.
How to get rid of ants
Image by Peter F Wolf/ Unsplash

Argentine Ants 

Baiting and ant spray are commonly used methods in the case of Argentine Ants. With baiting, the ant feeds the poisoned food to the queen and the entire colony, thus getting rid of the colony permanently. This prevents the chances of future infestations. are

While in the case of spraying, we spray pesticides as pest control. The spray is used to deter ants away from the ant nests.

Pharaoh Ants 

Pharaoh ants are tiny. Two methods are widely used while tackling this problem. Firstly, baiting is the most effective technique used to get rid of these ants. While choosing the bait, it is advised to use both starchy and protein-based substances for better results. Boric acid is a great choice of the chemical during our ant baiting.

The non-repelling spray is also used to kill ants nesting indoors as well as outdoors. It is widely used on ants hidden around the house. It works as a repelling agent to repel ants away from the household.

Ant trails usually lead to ant nests. The worker ant usually follows the same path and thus reveals the location of the colony. Destroying the colony is the best way to stop ants from becoming a problem again.

Ghost Ants 

The best way of how to get rid of ants of this species is to locate the nest. If you are successfully able to locate the nest outside, drench it with outdoor insecticide or bug spray. To locate the nest, you need to follow the ant trails which are used by a worker ant to find its way back to the colony.

How To Get Rid Of Ants Using Chemicals

How to get rid of ants
Image by Jeshoots/ Unsplash

Pesticides

They are used mostly outside the house to repel ants and kill them. It is often sprayed on ant colonies and is a crucial instrument when it comes to ant control. It is mainly used as an outdoor pesticide. When sprayed in ant holes, it will kill all the ants present inside the colony.

Boric acid

Boric acid is often used in the technique of baiting. Boric acid is mixed with either starch or protein substances as baits. Baits can be used to find any nests that are present in your house. The poison is distributed among all the ants. By following the ant trails, we can follow the steps required for ant control.

Diatomaceous Earth 

Diatomaceous earth is used for insects that have an exoskeleton. Diatomaceous earth is poisonous to ants and this helps in solving an ant infestation. Diatomaceous earth is used when a large area is infested by ants. It is also effective against bed bugs.

Repellent spray

It is effective while dealing with ants indoors. It is easily available and very simple to use. Although effective for indoor infestation, the repellent spray is not effective for outdoor ant infestation.

How To Get Rid Of Ants Using Organic Methods 

An ant infestation can be controlled using many organic and household substances. When combating the issue of how to get rid of ants, the best way is to stay natural. The nuisance of ants can be terminated by using organic and repellent.

How to get rid of ants
Image by Silviarita/ Pixabay
  1. Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is used to repel ants and bugs. Tea tree oil mixed with water can be stored in a spray bottle. It is then used as a repellent spray. Tea tree oil is one of the many natural repellents. It is the best natural pesticide. The best way to use tea tree oil is to use it on the entire colony. This way instead of killing a few ants, permanent pest control can be done on the colony itself.
  2. Peppermint Oil- Peppermint oil also acts as a natural repellent for Carpenter Ants. 20 drops of peppermint essential oil are mixed with 20 ml of water. This mixture is then sprayed on wooden framing, thus protecting items from becoming hosts to ants. This method is applicable for outdoor and indoor infestation. Pest control via peppermint essential oils widely used throughout America.
  3. Cayenne Pepper – Black pepper as well as Cayenne pepper both work as ant repellents. One common method is to sprinkle pepper on the infested area. They act as natural repellents. A black pepper repellent sprays can be made by mixing pepper with water and sprinkling it on the ant nests.

These are a few major methods on how to get rid of ants permanently. These methods prevent present as well as future ant infestation.

Call For Professional Help

How to get rid of ants
Image by Mohamed Hassan/ Pixabay

If the problem seems to be getting out of hand, and you’re not able to understand how to get rid of ants that keep on increasing proportionally. We suggest you call for some professional help.

There have been cases where the ant growth has kept growing exponentially and homemade remedies or pesticides aren’t able to treat the infestation. Such cases are known while dealing with Carpenter Ants. Carpenter ants being embedded inside wood or timber are hard to find. Thus, their colonies remain safe and they keep growing exponentially.

In such cases, if professional help is not called for, it might lead to various problems. Although ants aren’t deadly as such, they can be carriers of various bacteria. They indirectly make the household a pool for germs. Hence, ants can affect your health as well.

Points To Remember While Tackling Ant Infestation

  • As a precaution, the food source of ants should be kept closed.
  • The major food source of ants includes starch and proteins. These food sources attract ants more efficiently.
  • Repellent spray and natural repellents are much effective in repelling pests. Essential oil of peppermint or essential oil of tea tree can be used as natural repellents.
  • Ants have a habit of leaving a trail of pheromones behind, pest control can be achieved efficiently if we treat the food item or place infested by ants. In this way, they won’t be able to reach back to the source again.
  • Using dish soap and cotton balls to clean the affected area is also a form of pest control. Make sure the cotton balls are disposed of properly after cleaning.
  • When tackling the issue of how to get rid of ants, make sure to eliminate them from the origin, to avoid future infestation.

You can refer to these measures if you are trying to figure out how to get rid of ants permanently. We know that these uncalled guests cause a lot of trouble, so it’s better to get rid of them as soon as we can.

Ants can infest your home very quickly and become a health hazard as well as a danger for you. It’s very important to be cautionary while dealing with ants.

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