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Robots are A-mazing!

                                        An urban search and rescue robot moves across a rubble pile.
                                                  Photo: NIST [Public domain in the United States]

Many of today’s robots have to have the ability to maneuver through maze-like hallways, corridors, and even unknown passages. These robots are quicker, more efficient, and can travel in places that humans cannot.

Here are some robots that use maneuvering skills:

  • Medical robots can deliver medicine quickly to patients throughout a hospital. As pharmacists enter prescriptions into their computers, the delivery robots collect the correct type and dosage by scanning the correct bar-codes. These delivery robots travel through the many hallways to take the labeled medications to nursing stations or even individual patient’s rooms.

  • Search and rescue robots are sent into hazardous areas to help locate people and bring them to safety. Finding people faster can save their lives, especially if they have serious injuries, by bringing much needed assistance to them.

  • Exploratory robots are essential when scientists are investigating uncharted areas, such as oceans and caves. These robots are designed to be durable in water and deep, dark areas. Robots can map these areas, take soil and air samples, and detect other hazards that would put people at risk if they were performing the same actions. Some of these robots are even used in space. The Mars rovers use many camera sensors to take pictures that are instantaneously converted into 3D maps that the rover will use to avoid obstacles in its path.