Рrofessional service robotics

Service robots are autonomous devices that perform helpful tasks for people and equipment, except for industrial automation work. Today there are many types of such robots. Their classification corresponds to the industries in which they are used. It means that there are two separate categories: consumer robots and professional service ones. In turn, the consumer robots’ segment can be divided into three main application groups: household robots, robots performing social interaction and education, and the last category includes robots caring for the sick at home.

Most domestic robots perform the function of cleaning floors, windows, gardening work, street cleaning, and other domestic tasks. Robots intended to be companions or provide social interaction can be divided into commercial and noncommercial applications. For example, educational robots are typically consumed in schools or similar settings, where teaching is a commercial activity for teachers. But they are professionally trained to impart knowledge, not operate robots.

The use of robots for home care is mainly related to mobility and assistance in manipulation. Here we should pay attention to the fact that nursing robots can be used in professional nursing centers. The decisive criterion for classifying a robot in the consumer sector is its suitability for non-professionals. They can also be professional caregivers who have no special training to operate robots. It should also be noted that all of the above categories include robotic devices because limited autonomy may be necessary or desirable in care applications. If a robot's application for care requires training or education, it should be placed in another group.

The professional service robots application category is broken down into nine different application groups. One of these categories, robots for agricultural applications, is subdivided into four classes. The first one includes all activities related to plant cultivation, from plowing a field to harvesting crops in greenhouses or outdoors. Robots for milking represent the second class, animal husbandry is in the third class. And the last one includes the rest, which cannot be classified according to the above three grounds. Professional cleaning robots - by analogy with household cleaning robots - are divided into robots that perform the function of cleaning floors, windows, and walls. They are also used to clean tanks, pipes, and pipelines and even clean ship hulls.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies have re-focused and expanded the functionality of robots with mechanisms to perform disinfection. Such machines now constitute a separate group. Robots that perform a professional cleaning but are not suitable for a set of functions in any of the above classes are allocated to a separate one.

The next group of robots is applied for professional inspection and maintenance. They are broken down by the object for which they are intended. Robots that perform damage inspection in construction and civil engineering of all kinds are classified into one group. Inspection of tanks, pipes, pipelines, and sewers is included in another class. A variety of robotic devices that provide inspection and maintenance are equipped with manual remote control. However, at least some base autonomous functions, such as navigation, must be present to qualify the machine as a robot. Another application Group covers robots for construction and demolition.

One group includes various logistics and transport robots. In this context, logistics is a very general term that covers a wide range of different robot applications. Some logistics functions, such as packaging, picking and placing, and palletizing, are considered industrial robotics and are therefore considered in another classification. Service robots for logistics and transportation are joined according to a two-dimensional matrix. The first dimension refers to the intended use indoors, outdoors. The second dimension is the ability of the robot to handle public traffic safely. In a non-public environment, only people trained to operate and coexist with a service robot can cross its path. Of course, the robot must still have safety features, but the vendor can expect; that everyone in the robot's work area is aware of the "do's" and "don'ts" rules.

It is different for robots applied in public transportation. In enclosed areas, public traffic refers to visitors or other members of the society who can't safely cooperate or coexist with the robot. A robot must respond to and anticipate people's behavior in its immediate vicinity, such as stopping or slowing its movement. In open space, public traffic, the robot may even be required to participate autonomously in street traffic (which is not usually covered by current legal regulations). Today, many of the robots used for external logistics in public traffic are of the airborne type. Logistics also includes inventory management, such as counting and restocking. Any other type of logistics or transportation service robot may be classified as another category. Note that passenger transportation is excluded from this scheme.

The medical robotics group also includes robotic devices, that is, robotics’ technology that does not have sufficient autonomy to qualify as a robot. It refers to classes robotics’ diagnostics, robot-assisted surgery, and robotics for non-invasive therapy and rehabilitation. In contrast, robots that process and handle specimens in medical laboratories and other medical robots must be relatively autonomous.

The group of search and rescue and security robots includes robotic devices. They are intended for firefighting, disaster relief, or security. Essentially, this group contains only machines performed for peaceful, non-military purposes. Hotel robots are used for preparing food or drinks and for mobile guidance, information, or telepresence.