Robotic Devices Depend on Hinges

The technological advances of industrialized societies throughout the world are nothing short of astounding; and to think that without various types of hinges, much of what we do or use everyday would absolutely cease.


Whether it is aeronautical hinges that allow the flaps on an airplane to function, or the use of more simplistic hinges that allow doors in a home to open and close, the importance of hinges cannot be underestimated nor should they be taken for granted.  There is one, arena where hinges are used, however, that one doesn’t hear too much about – an area of technology known as robotics.


What Are Robotics?


Robotics deals with technological applications that allow machines to do the work of humans. Some robotic applications are especially noteworthy, such as robots designed to detect bombs, clean up toxic-waste contamination or allow astronauts to perform spacewalks outside of space stations.  Then, there are robots that are capable of assisting with manufacturing procedures within the auto industry, as well as robots used in hospitals as guides and receptionists!  Regardless of how a robotic device is utilized, it all boils down to one major fact:  without the various types of hinges that allow for a myriad of different types of movements, real-life robotic activities would not exist.


Hinges Enable Robots to Function


Some robots look very human-like and are designed with arms, hands and fingers that can pick up objects with ease as well as play ping pong or soccer like a pro!  Joints at the ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers allow those components to impressively simulate human movements – all thanks to hinges that connect those joints.


Our world has benefited, dramatically, thanks to robotic intervention.  And, again, without specialized hinges that allow robotic parts to move or robotic systems to operate, the following applications would never have come to be.


Military Insight


Saving human lives is a huge component of robotic intervention in the US military.  For example, Explosive Ordinance Disposal robots examine suspicious objects on the ground as well as detect land mines on overseas battlefields.  Not only can robots deliver unexploded objects for proper detonation, but EOD robots can deactivate improvised explosive devices at safe distances from military personnel.


Car Manufacturing


Assembly-line activities in car-manufacturing plants utilize robots with mechanical arms that speed up the assembly process – speeds that no human would be able to mimic.  In turn, this reduces manufacturing costs associated with installation, welding, and painting, for example.  Additionally, robots can easily tackle dangerous and difficult manufacturing endeavors that human workers no longer have to contend with.


Surgical Procedures


Robotic assistance means very intricate surgical procedures can be performed with unparalleled precision.  For example, a surgeon can utilize a computerized console to move instruments attached to a robot’s arms.  The movements associated with the surgical procedures are performed, directly, by the robot under the direction of the surgeon.  Just as interesting, the surgeon could be in the same room or thousands of miles away!  Regardless of the medical procedure, the surgical exactness that surgery-room robots offer, allows for optimized precision, smaller incisions, minimized discomfort and decreased blood loss.


Police Intervention


In a world where police and civilians clash with increasingly tragic results, police robots are a welcome addition to law-enforcement departments from coast to coast.  These specialized machines perform an impressive array of tasks to not only locate and detain criminals, but keep law-enforcement officers out of harm’s way.  Remote-controlled robots have the ability to:  1) climb stairs 2) flip 3) shoot water cannons or weapons at perpetrators involved in hostage situations and 4) utilize 360-degree cameras with night-vision to help catch criminals, even in absolute darkness.


Police are often involved in hostage situations.  Using select types of robots, police can see how many hostages are involved, where they are being contained, as well as their physical condition.  If doors need to be breached, robots can crush and remove doors to complete rescue missions.


Oil Spill Repair


Oil is mostly transported across vast ocean expanses by barges and tankers; and, unfortunately, accidents happen, and oil spills and oil leaks are the result.  Whenever a major oil spill occurs, it can translate into environmental chaos, with impacts that can last for decades.  Fortunately, robots help to change the outcome of even the largest of oil spills.  In these situations, robots can be submerged in water, at great depths for prolonged periods of time to not only assess the damage on a barge or tanker but interact with problematic equipment.


Other oil-spill robots suck in oil-water; and the cleansed water that exits the robot is 99% pure!  Oil-eating robots can cleanse up to 2,000 gallons of oil per minute while bladders hold the oil until it can be safely removed.  Though oil spills don’t often occur, robots stand ready to meet the challenge of keeping our oceans cleaner whenever hazardous oil contamination situations might occur.


After it’s all said and done, robotic technology depends on hinges to allow movement of various robotic components.  Without movement, there would be no fully-functioning robots; and without robots, many of the stunning technological advancements we benefit from, today, would remain only pipe dreams.  The utilization and evolution of robotic technology, literally, hinges on hinges!