How to make a robot work for you

The invention of robots may have been the best move ever to benefit the humans. Robots are clever machines that can do almost everything. In addition, there is always that feeling of relief and achievement when you finally manage to own one or several to do your bidding.

However whether you have the most advanced robots or the almost human collaborative robots from Universal Robots or whether you have a robot you managed to put together, or your robots have everything you need to start working, they cannot do without the help of a human being. Acquiring them is just the beginning. Getting them to work for you is what comes next and it is not as easy as it may sound.

How do you teach the robots to work?

Majority of the robot-manufacturing giants as Universal Robots definitely have the resources and the knowledge of making their robots do the most amazing things. However, every robot needs to adapt to its new place after deployment. Like in every situation, when you land yourself into a new place, you do not just up and start working without learning the ropes. A robot too must learn the ropes before it starts its work. Below are different ways of doing that.

·       Direct Teleoperation

The simplest way to make a robot work for you is to control it directly. Called Teleoperation, this method requires a human or several humans controlling different parts of a robot to perform the duties requited of them. This you can do using a joystick or special telemetry suit. Whatever control system you choose to use, it is important to contact and get help from the manufacturing company for the implementation of the control policies.

·       Programming

Programming is probably the best method used to make robots carry out your bidding. With programming, you must have a background of coding and a lot of time in your hands.  You need enough time because it takes a while to sit down and write a series of codes in a programming language instructing the robot on what you want tit to do. The robot will need to learn how react to its surroundings in order to manage to carry out the tasks it is supposed to carry out.

Programming and coding is not very easy because even the simplest of task the robots do will need programming. When the work complexity goes up, the belief is that programming gets harder but the truth is it gets easier. Sometimes programming a robot for small tasks may feel like a total waste of time and it would even be faster to do the work without the need of a robot. Eventually after putting the programs in place, you can rest and wait for the robots to comply.

·       Learning by Analyzing Data

The other method you can use to make a robot start working is by having the robot learn how to perform different tasks by analysing the available data. Though machine-learning methods are many, they all aim at achieving the same results. The best way to implement this is to guide the robot through the task and let it find patterns in the data to try to do the tasks. You can the reward the robot if it accomplishes the task. If the task is a failure, you penalise it. This kind of learning is called reinforcement learning and it works quite well.

Observation and Imitation

Another method to make the robots learn how to work for you is by letting them observe and imitate you while you work. The robots pick up and monitor everything you do using all the parts of their body that correspond to the human parts. The robots collect the demonstration data and play it back to carry out the tasks it observed. Though this may sound like an easy thing to do, it is not. You require some techniques to achieve to make the robot gain stability. With the help of the robot manufacturer and a programmer, you can learn how to do it.

Before a robot starts working for you, it must learn from you first. It is only by implementing any of the above strategies that a robot will start to respond accordingly and start working. Cobots like those from Universal Robots have the ability to imitate humans, act and move like them. They work alongside humans without causing any harm or disruptions.