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We’re familiar with the Iron Man suit, a humanoid exoskeleton used for transport, defense, and ballistics. While far from having a legion of Iron Man suits, the US military has made use of robotics in a myriad of fields — everything from search and rescue to weapons systems. The versatility and diversity within the field of robotics allows the military to use robots in and out of active warzones.

Search and Rescue

Da Vinci Robot (Intuitive Surgical)

In 2009, an estimated 48 million surgical procedures took place. In every surgery, however, there are complications. There is a risk of infection, of an adverse reaction to a drug, and of human error. Medical robots allow for safer and easier surgeries.

A man wears a prosthetic hand attachment
A man wears a prosthetic hand attachment
UC Berkeley’s SPARTHAN Module, a low-cost prosthetic controller board

Prosthetics are a part of the increasingly popular field of robotics. Not the mechanical robots that can build cars or play piano, but rather, human-like robotics called bionics. Prosthetics and robotic bionics go hand in hand (pun intended).

Modern robots have existed for well over half a century, simple human-controlled machines that could perform predetermined tasks. But those robots were never created with humans in mind. Then came the advent of cybernetics and the creation of prosthetics, a combination of robotics and medicine to better aid and understand the human body.


A prosthetic is an artificial replacement of a limb…

Robots have come a long way in a short period of time. The word “robot” is only about 100 years old, and while there were a few developments in robotics prior to 1900, most advancements in robotics — everything from automatons like Elektro to advanced humanoids like ASIMO — occurred relatively recently.

Before the development of robots and even before the word “robot” was coined, automatons were developed all over the world. In Mesopotamia around 1150, Ismail al-Jazari developed several automations, all of which could perform different tasks. Some of his works include a humanoid automaton that could serve drinks…

Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with robots, their design, manufacture, and application. Robotics relies heavily on computer science and electrical engineering and is constantly evolving as more new technologies are developed. Robotics is responsible for many applications including entertainment, healthcare, manufacturing, military defense, and even space exploration. How could one definition be sufficient for all of these examples?

There are numerous types of robots. Some examples of common categories used to group robots include drone, humanoid, security, military, medical, and aerospace robots. …

Rupali Batta

I’m a senior from Notre Dame interested in the intersection of technology and public policy. I write for Optimus Robotics (

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