Robotics is to save humanity, not otherwise
Leaving the theories of robots conquering the world or just stealing the jobs from humanity and other science fiction, it is important to see the opportunities robotics brings to manufacturing and empowerment of mankind. Today, robots are used as manufacturing tools, and even as a customer service, namely in Japan. What of them would you adopt and what would you avoid?
stronger - everywhere
The new generation of robots for manufacturing has arrived. Robots become more adaptive, smarter and mobile. Expansion of robotic in manufacturIng is triggered by growing consumer markets enlargement of production capacities. The global robot market is growing rapidly. Asia and Australia are the leaders in the annual supply of industrial robots with 100 000 units in 2013 and projected double the units by 2018. The highest density of robots in the world award gets the Republic of Korea having 437 industrial robots in operation per 10 000 employees. The European leader for the same feature is Germany with its highly developed automotive industry. The investments into industrial robotics grow with geometric progression.
For today, the robots cannot substitute the human by many features. First of all, the manipulation of flexible materials and adaptation to changes can be performed only by experts, not the machinery. Even highly automated factories with robotic manufacturing floors will still require the human factor in design, engineering, machine maintenance and repair, marketing, logistics and other services. The experts cannot be substituted and automation will create new jobs to maintain, develop, and control robots - human-robot mixed workforce.
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However, in some cases, the robot can outperform the human by accuracy and speed. Apple has presented it's elegant and flawless recycling bot - Liam. He is a part of Apple's environmental sustainability plan decreasing carbon footprint. Liam is designed to handle the IPhone waste. The robotic hand dissembles the returned IPhones in the many pieces for further recycling or reuse. This large-scale robot has 29 free-standing robotic arms. Its operation process looks like an excellent art project one can watch forever. Liam detaches IPhone's part by part and sorts them in the right piles. Later elements are sent for reuse and recycle.
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Another piece of art is a friendly, futuristic-white, minimalistic assistant Care-o-Bot, which is not the industrial one. Care-o-Bot is the new generation of service robots, which work and communicate with their owners, business clients, and human beings overall. Created by the leading engineers of German Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation, the Care-o-Bot has a couple of varieties for different tasks. The white mechanical creature can be assisting workers in nursing houses, hotels, and even as a household helper. Care-o-Bot can deliver food and drinks, help out with cleaning and cooking, support patients and personnel in healthcare institutions, and be an aid in manufacturing environments. The robot can be controlled via voice, interaction screen, table, or straight from the personal computer.
Care-o-Bot does not look like a human, nor like a robot from the sci-fi movies. Engineers endeavoured to gain the golden mean making the creature look like a friendly pet everyone would like to have at home. The interaction panel is designed to be a face-like: two white circles indicate eyes, and head of the robot can turn and nod, articulating some of the human expressions.What is more, he is proven to be an excellent entertainer. The white buddy is equipped with facial recognition able to distinguish between customers and remember their preferences. Additionally, he is designed to be highly mobile and the sensors ensure its safe moving in the premises.
The robots will be implemented in our daily life assisting in every sphere at home and work. The manufacturing already calls it an industrial revolution 4.0, which creates the full robotic production floors. There should be no panic on substituting the human factor in manufacturing, as new positions to maintain the production will be created. Overall, robots will assist a person in low demanding daily activities and dangerous tasks for health. Robotics find its benefit not only in manufacturing but also as a buddy and helper in services. Nursing homes, hotels, airports, and other facilities will be equipped with assistance like Care-o-Bot. They will make the life better, contributing to Big Data and allowing the future societal development.
#robotics #industrial robots #service robots #Liam #Care-o-Bot #future trends