IMPACT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY ON ROBOTICS INNOVATIONS
Keywords:Environment, Robotics, Impact, Social, Innovations, Engineering
Over the engineering history, environmental and social needs inspire the development and innovation of many wonderful applications. For example, when the industrial robots entered our industrial life, great advances especially in automotive industry where the industrial robots cover about 90 % of the car industry activities started to change our own life. As the number of elderly people is increasing rapidly all over the world, this requires us to focus on their needs as their children left them alone in our busy daily life. Mechatronics and robotics can offer many possibilities to help elderly people by providing smart solutions for their daily needs as well as entertaining them during their lonely long stay at their homes. Many companies are providing smart mobile robots in different platforms (wheeled or walking) to help the elderly people depend on themselves in receiving their food and medicine at prescheduled times. Other companies are interested in providing smart wheel chairs to help the elderly people navigate indoor and outdoor freely and conveniently without any external help. Meanwhile, some companies are providing entertainment robots in different shapes to talk, play and communicate with elderly people in a nice way. The objective of this paper is to explore the mechatronics and robotics capabilities to assist elderly people and to make their life easier, comfortable and self-governing without any external help. This paper will highlight also the effect of the environment and the social needs in inspiring new innovations. As an example, the innovations by Badi Az-Zaman Ismail Al-Jazari, a Muslim scientist, will be investigated.
This paper is going to discuss also the idea and the motivation behind two of Al-Jazari’s robotic applications (Although the term robot was not coined at that time). These two devices are the washing hands and the peacock fountain. Although he used to apply mechanical structure and fluid for controlling the motion of the two devices, they were very beautiful and resemble some of the robotic applications nowadays.
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