This is a guest post by Greg Conrad (a writer for Ax Control).
To put it in the simplest terms, Teleoperated Robots are robots that are controlled remotely over some sort of wireless medium. The wireless medium could be as simple as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, or maybe a slightly more complex proprietary wireless channel built by and for some specific industry.
The main idea of having teleoperated robots for industrial applications is to reduce human risk in dangerous environments, reduce the amount of physical/manual labor performed by employees, and to get the job done more efficiently. Teleoperated robots are easy to operate, cost effective and very useful. Teleoperated robots are usually smaller than typical robots in dimension, they have a very minimal footprint and utilitarian design. Industrial automation is just starting to make the most out of teleoperated robots recently, However, the world has been seeing teleoperated robots in action in the medical sector for quite some time now; needless to say, the military forces were the other first adopters in this field.
Teleoperation VS. Telepresence
Teleoperated robots are designed to receive simple commands from a human operator and execute the command as instructed. Teleoperated robots are different from fully automated robots in a sense that they can be switched between autonomous and user operated at any time, reducing the workload on the human operator, while also giving the operator the option of making on the spot adjustments or complete a task on their own. Teleoperated robots give you the best of both worlds, automation and self reliance, as well as the ability for a user to instantly connect to the robot and control the robot from anywhere
Telepresence robots are typically a roaming robot that has some sort of display, allowing the user to video conference, as well as control the movement of the telepresence robot. This gives both parties a more immersive experience during a video conference by giving the controller the ability to move, and look around naturally during meetings, as well as go on virtual tours of facilities. Telepresence robotics can currently be seen in quite a few industries, from the medical field to being used to remotely diagnosing/supporting industrial repairs.
Teleoperated robots work for the combined goal we all dream of – make jobs easier and risk-free without stripping real humans of their work. Modern advancements in semiconductor-based technology, networking, and Virtual Reality are helping to achieve the goal as we quickly reach 2020. Do you think we will eventually see manual labor in factories disappear as industrial workers can “telecommute” and control robots from home?