Autonomous Things

Robotics and Bionics

Theme Audience

  • People living or caring for other with a long term chronic (LTC) health condition or a disability that might be assisted by a robotic solution
  • Businesses that are seeking new ways to automate or reduce dependency on human actors


Robotics is the branch of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing.

These technologies deal with automated machines that can take the place of humans in dangerous environments or manufacturing processes, or resemble humans in appearance, behaviour, and/or cognition. Many of today’s robots are inspired by nature contributing to the field of bio-inspired robotics.

(Source – Wikipedia Robotics)

Robotics and the Human Condition

Bionics is now and emerging theme of robotics as mechanical engineering converge with the study to employ artificial neurons, artificial neural networks, and swarm intelligence solutions to deliver cognitive abilities to mechanical robots.

In addition robotics has recently made significant advances in the integration of organic and biomechatronic parts, a concept categorised by the term cyborg. In a recent development researchers at Chalmers University in Sweden announced that they had succeeded in connecting a prosthetic arm directly to the bone, nerves and muscles of a patient to create “a stable fusion between man and machine” according to Max Ortiz Catalan, a researcher at Chalmers University.

(Source – ScienceNordic – Brain-controlled prosthetic arm connected to nerves)

Whilst current technological advances are primarily concerned with increasing productivity or overcoming disability, it is only a matter of time before they become utilised as enhancements, or with the objective of increasing ability and capability to place others at a disadvantage, these traits after all are aspects of the human condition.

Looking Ahead

Further automation and an increasing handover of human tasks to robotic or mechanical devices will have a profound impact on society, and this is envisaged to not be too far off. Driver less drones are venturing to places beyond human limits and are in operation today, driver less cars the stuff of science fiction are being trialled, prosthetics are no longer dump extensions or replacement to human body parts, these advances are with us today.

So tomorrow will likely yeild both some very exciting and very frightening new developments!


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