What Can Be Said?
The word “robot” comes from the Czech
word “robonik”, meaning slave.
Robots Come in Many Different Shapes and Sizes, but
They All Have the Same Basic Components:
Sensors, which capture information
from the environment;
A microprocessor to process the
Actuators to produce movement or alter
the environment in some way, for
example by turning an electronic switch
on or off.
What They Are Used for?
Robots are used for the following:
For spray painting, spot welding and car assembly.
As security devices in the home and office buildings.
As vehicles in space exploration.
As intelligent wheelchairs for disabled people and.
As underwater maintenance for oil rigs.
Hundreds of applications use robots in one form or
Why Use Robots?
Robots can tirelessly perform repetitive and
monotonous tasks, lift heavy loads and reach long
distances. They are used, for example, by the US
navy to scrape and repaint ships.
Labour costs can be substantially reduced. Robots
are widely used in car manufacturing as well as in
many other industries including printing and
publishing. Robots can carry tons of paper coming off
presses, bind and trim books and apply book covers.
It has been estimated that each industrial robot will
replace an average of six workers.
Quality of work is consistent. A robot is never tired or bored or
having an day off.
Robots can work 24 hours a day, do not need breaks and do not
need to go on strike.
They can work in total darkness, at low temperatures, thus
saving on electricity bills.
They can also be used in hazardous areas, such as fume-filled
rooms or radioactive environment. Tests are currently being
carried out to set robots to work on clearing mine fields.
You may like to know that
teachers might be replaced
by robots, because soon they
may be able to have the
ability to talk etc.
Question of Discussion:
Robots are immensely expensive to buy and install, and
need to be used for a high proportion of each day in order
to recoup the cost.
What happens when demand for a product slumps?
Would a manufacturer be better advised to stick with
manual workers, who can be laid off and rehired when
What Happens When Demand for
a Product Slumps?
In 1997, a company brought a
number of robots to manufacture a
product, and because the robots 350
could do the work of 6 workers the
sacked them. 300
To the right is an mock up of what
might happen if the product 250
The product sale was highest in
year 1998, but the sales suddenly
The customers may no longer have 100
interest in the product.
So the manual workers had to be 50
re-admitted, so that they can save
the money it costs to maintain the 0
1997 1999 2001
Would a Manufacturer Be Better Advised to
Stick With Manual Workers, Who Can Be
Laid off and Rehired When Times Improve?
For a manufacturer to lay off workers and install robots to
replace them, is in fact quite risky because you have to be sure
that your robots will increase sales and profits.
Its nearly always the most successful manufacturers which turn
to buy robots rather than hire manual workers.
Although there are many advantages to investing robots into a
company, they will cost much more money to run rather than the
traditional manual worker, who you would just pay weekly
It is advised not to go over the top with taking out workers and
bringing in robots. It is much better to have a look at the demand
in the product from the customers and slowly upgrade the
performance of your company by introduce robots and hiring
robotic engineers to maintain the robots.
Robots can be used almost
In the household.
They come in many shapes
They are expensive to buy
and to run.
They make work easier.
Can be programmed to do