Industrial Robots
Robots used in manufacturing are electronic devices that automate manufacturing processes such as welding, spray painting, assembly (in electronic PCB assembly) and other complex activities that were typically performed by human beings. These are commonly know as industrial robots. A robot can be programmed to operate with high precision, repeatibility, and operate in hazardous environment. They operate continuously with minimum maintenance, thus make them invaluable manufacturing devices. Other type of industrial robots are automated guided vehicles (AGV), that carry assembly components (automotive engine transmission and other drive components) on guided paths and will interact with other assembly or gantry robots in manufacturing.        Industrial Robot Welding Automobile Frame
Fully Autonomous Robots (Humanoid)
The humanoid autonomous type of robots are used in hazardous material handling, bomb disposal in military operations, human interaction for entertainment purposes and radioactive enviromnent operations. These type of robots have all types of sensors, such as vision, tactile, obstacle avoidance and complex AI based algorithms to operate autonomously. As these require enormous computing power, they are coming of age day after day with high performance computers and memory processing chips of the present day.
During the mid to late 1980's, the computer hardware was in its infancy. During my graduate studies on AI, machine vision, robotics, and manufacturing automation, the research was limited to the computing power of x86 family of Intel chip based hardware used in robots (or ASIC with similar capacity) and its accessory devices. The advances in chip technology [1] over the years has enhanced the robotics and related technologies.
Robots in Medicine (surgery)
There are robots that are used in surgery, that perform delicate surgery with high precision along with surgeons. Due to their high precision vision and 3D mapping of complex contours, they will soon be able to push humans to supervisorly roles and perform autonomous robotic surgery.
Robots in Oceanographic Exploration
Submersible robots are used to explore the ocean, under water vegetation, rescue operations, sunken objects and for various types of Oceanographic research. Some are fully autonomous with remote human programming/control and some on-board human operators.
Robots in Computer Applications
In computer applications, robots are used as data robots to monitor data I/O in or accross systems, anomolies, and detect fraud. Many HRMS systems use application robots to analyze applicant resumes to validate their candidacy (educational background, skills, experience) for the job they apply for. Processes are also automated in the form code-robots that monitor system/application health.
Robots in Internet
In web applications robots are known as web crawlers and web spiders. They are used to assist search engines with traffic monitoring, indexing, execute scripts, automate manual processes. Hackers have exploited them for fraudulent activities too. Sometimes the web traffic can be only due to robots. This has lead to websites requiring Captcha entry to ensure it is a human interaction versus robotic traffic.

[1] Moores Law on chip capacity

Last Revised on: November 17th, 2019