If you would have asked us 20 years ago if robots were real – we would have laughed and exclaimed ‘of course not!’.
But revolutions in the world of technology has plucked robots out of science-fiction films and placed them straight into our present day thanks to AI.
In the not too distant future, it is theorised that robots with artificial intelligence will help make life easier for all of us – doing all of the dull and difficult tasks that we can’t bring ourselves to complete.
But what is a robot? It is defined as a machine – especially one programmable by a computer – capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically.
Robots can be guided by an external control device or the control may be embedded within.
From the time of ancient civilization, there have been many accounts of user-configurable automated devices and even automata resembling animals and humans, designed primarily as entertainment.
As mechanical techniques developed through the Industrial age, there appeared more practical applications such as automated machines, remote-control and wireless remote-control that gave birth to a revolution in technology.
Since then, we’ve seen the creation of the first humanoid robot, Eric, in 1928, and modern autonomous robots that have become a staple of our everyday life, even bettering it.
We use robots to help tackle waste, pollution, and even crime, but there have been proposed problems with the rise of AI and robots.
Entrepreneurship, music, travel, health, communication – the list of fields that are bracing themselves for the rise of robots and the knock-on effect it will have on employment.
For centuries, people have predicted that machines would make workers obsolete and increase unemployment, although the causes of unemployment are usually thought to be due to social policy.
What we do know as a fact, is the innovations robots are bringing to the world of technology.
Last year saw the creation of Robot Atlas, a solution that can simultaneously perform tasks such as 3D printing, stereo vision, range sensing, and object manipulation. Most recently, the robot made strides by completing a backflip.
The Da Vinci Surgical System brought amazing innovation into the operating room. The technology provides a 3D HD view inside a patient’s body so that surgeons can complete more accurate surgeries. The system is capable of performing various operations through minimal incisions with an ergonomically designed console, patient-side cart, and instruments that bend and rotate beyond the limitations of the human hand.
On top of these, we’ve also seen the growth of wearable robots, flying robots, 3D printed liquid elastic, growing robots, robotic arms and so much more that even back in 2017, we didn’t think was possible.
Robotic engineers are even designing the next generation of robots to look, feel and act more human, with realistic looking hair and skin with embedded sensors will allow robots to react naturally in their environment.
Subtle actions by robots that typically go unnoticed between people, help bring them to life and can also relay non-verbal communication.
Artificial eyes that move and blink. Slight chest movements that simulate breathing. Man-made muscles to change facial expressions. – these are all attributes that are humanising robots in society.
Far from a figment of fantasy, robots and AI are technology trends that is fast on the rise and not showing any signs of stopping.