RoboticsIntroductionRobotics can be described as the current pinnacle of technical development. Robotics is a confluence science using the continuing advancements of mechanical engineering, material science, sensor fabrication, manufacturing techniques, and advanced algorithms.
The study and practice of robotics will expose a dabbler or professional to hundreds of different avenues of study. For some, the romanticism of robotics brings forth an almost magical curiosity of the world leading to creation of amazing machines. Robotics can be defined as the science or study of the technology primarily associated with the design, fabrication, theory, and application of robots. While other fields contribute the mathematics, the techniques, and the components, robotics creates the magical end product.
The practical applications of robots drive development of robotics and drive advancements in other sciences in turn. Crafters and researchers in robotics study more than just robotics.The promise of robotics is easy to describe but hard for the mind to grasp. Robots hold the promise of moving and transforming materials with the same elan and ease as a computer program transforms data.
Today, robots mine minerals, assemble semi-processed materials into automobile components, and assemble those components into automobiles. On the immediate horizon are self-driving cars, robotics to handle household chores, and assemble specialized machines on demand. It is not unreasonable to imagine robots that are given some task, such as reclaim desert into photovoltaic cells and arable land, and left to make their own way.
Then the promise of robotics exceeds the minds grasp.Robotics defined plus Artificial Intelligence.Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a general term that implies the use of a computer to model and/or replicate intelligent behavior.
Research in AI focuses on the development and analysis of algorithms that learn and/or perform intelligent behavior with minimal human intervention. These techniques have been and continue to be applied to a broad range of problems that arise in robotics, e-commerce, medical diagnosis, gaming, mathematics, and military planning and logistics, to name a few. Several research groups fall under the general umbrella of AI in the department, but are disciplines in their own right, including: robotics, natural language processing (NLP), computer vision, computational biology, and e-commerce. Specifically, research is being conducted in estimation theory, mobility mechanisms, multi-agent negotiation, natural language interfaces, machine learning, active computer vision, probabilistic language models for use in spoken language interfaces, and the modeling and integration of visual, haptic, auditory and motor information.Computers can already solve problems in limited realms. The basic idea of AI problem-solving is first, the AI robot or computer gathers facts about a situation through sensors or human input. The computer compares this information to stored data and decides what the information signifies. The computer runs through various possible actions and predicts which action will be most successful based on the collected information.
The computer can only solve problems it’s programmed to solve — it doesn’t have any generalized analytical ability. Chess computers are one example of this sort of machine.Some modern robots also have the ability to learn in a limited capacity. Learning robots recognize if a certain action (moving its legs in a certain way, for instance) achieved a desired result (navigating an obstacle). The robot stores this information and attempts the successful action the next time it encounters the same situation. Again, modern computers can only do this in very limited situations.
They can’t absorb any sort of information like a human can. Some robots can learn by mimicking human actions. In Japan, roboticists have taught a robot to dance by demonstrating the moves themselves.Some robots can interact socially. Kismet, a robot at M.I.
T’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, recognizes human body language and voice inflection and responds appropriately. Kismet’s creators are interested in how humans and babies interact, based only on tone of speech and visual cue. This low-level interaction could be the foundation of a human-like learning system.Kismet and other humanoid robots at the M.I.T.
AI Lab operate using an unconventional control structure. Instead of directing every action using a central computer, the robots control lower-level actions with lower-level computers. The program’s director, Rodney Brooks, believes this is a more accurate model of human intelligence.
We do most things automatically; we don’t decide to do them at the highest level of consciousness.Robotics and investmentWith sales of industrial robots continuing to spiral upwards, co-robots massing to take on logistics, and robot home companions setting sights on millions of households worldwide, investors are suddenly getting serious and on the prowl to make a killing or two or three or more. But where to prowl first? Equities, pure-play equities, themed funds, ETF even motifs are out there. How and where are robotics investments showing themselves best?Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) “The Robotics Revolution” report predicts that growth in the global installed base of advanced robotics will accelerate from around 2 to 3 percent annually to around 10 percent annually during the next decade “as companies begin to see the economic benefits of robotics.””In some industries,” the report continues, “more than 40 percent of manufacturing tasks will be done by robots.
This development will power dramatic gains in labor productivity in many industries around the world and lead to shifts in competitiveness among manufacturing economies as fast adopters reap significant gains.” BCG’s report goes on to say that a confluence of forces will power the robotics takeoff: “The prices of hardware and enabling software are projected to drop by more than 20 percent over the next decade. At the same time, the performance of robotics systems will improve by around 5 percent each year.”As robots become more affordable and easier to program, a greater number of small manufacturers will be able to deploy them and integrate them more deeply into industrial supply chains.
Advances in vision sensors, gripping systems, and information technology, meanwhile, are making robots smarter, more highly networked, and immensely more useful for a wider range of applications.”Trend to lower prices in robots parallels the early 1990s’ sudden drop in global prices of computers and peripherals that preceded the 1997-2005 boom that recorded GDP of 2.9 percent. (See: “Productivity in the Slow Lane: The Role of Information and Communications Technology,” analysis by Federal Reserve’s J. Christina Wang and Alison Pearson.Short term: ARK Invest analyst, Sam Korus, expects to see continued investment in robotics companies over the next 12-24 months as “more people recognize the significant opportunity that exists.”Between 2015 and 2025 ARK expects annual investment in all forms of automation could escalate from $11 billion to $185 billion, or at a compound annual growth rate of 32 percent. Korus points to collaborative robot maker, Universal Robots, which recently reported 91 percent year over year top line growth and predicts that the market for collaborative robots is set to grow 50 percent annually.
Wage and demographic impacts on robotics adoption will be particularly strong in China. “On the industrial robotics side, China only has a robot density (robots per 10,000 employees) of 36 compared to 478 in Korea. ARK expects that as industrial robots become less expensive and wages increase that the adoption of robots will accelerate,” adds Korus.Sam Bouchard, CEO of Robotiq, designer and manufacturer of robot grippers and end-of-arm tooling, believes that we’re “just scratching the surface in what’s possible with robots.”Bouchard expects investment levels to continue but predicts that we may see a shift “toward some models in which robots act as enablers for more complete solutions.”For Bouchard, the success or failures of “highly visible companies” such as Jibo, Google, and Rethink Robotics will steer future investments and define the investment climate.
A recent Bank of America/Merrill Lynch report predicts that robots will be performing 45 percent of manufacturing tasks by 2025, compared to just 10 percent today. As the report puts it:”We estimate the current robots and the AI solutions market at $153 billion by 2020, including $83 billion for robots, and $70 billion for AI-based analytics. Disruptive technologies will yield $14 to $33 trillion in annual economic impact by 2025 through cost reductions and efficiency gains. Early adoption will be a key comparative advantage, while those that lag in investment will see their competitiveness slip.” The growth of investment in robotics companies will “for sure” continue over the next 12-24 months.
UnemploymentCompanies such as iPhone manufacturer Foxconn (New Taipei City, Taiwan), which has been plagued by a series of labor scandals, has announced plans to add more than one million robots to its workforce. It still has a long way to go, however, as only about 20,000 are currently in use. According to the International Federation of Robotics, overall paid employment has risen in most countries including Brazil, China, Republic of Korea, Germany, and USA, but not Japan, which has seen a decline. The statistics mainly show a reduction in employment in manufacturing in the developed countries, often a small reduction. This coincides with an increase in output and an increase in robotics use, except in the case of Japan. The robot industry itself generates 170,000–190,000 jobs worldwide, to which can be added the support staff and operators, another similar number of people. Despite the rapid increase in the use of robots, USA has proportionately half the number of robots used by Germany. Germany itself (partly because of a different industry mix) is third, behind Japan and Korea.
The concept of “jobless recovery”, where an industry comes out of a recession leaner, needing fewer employees, is only short term. It is likely to lead to more job creation by the leaner, more competitive companies. At the same time, the service sector continues to absorb most of the displaced people.
Some of these new service people owe their jobs to a new robot driven industry. The research by the International Federation of Robotics further points out that, although automation displaces people in manufacturing, it almost always increases outputBusiness efficiencyRobotics are all around us. We drive cars that are, in part, built by robots. We use computers, laptops, tablets and phones that are built by robots.
We order products from large warehouses that are assembled, sorted and mailed by robots. Robotics impact our social and business lives in powerful ways. Robotics of the future could bring society self-driving cars or even digital agents that work for you.
The increase in occurrences of robotics in business has both positive and negative impacts. Let’s consider the future of robotics in business and how it can impact our world. Today, robots are doing human labor in all kinds of places. The top fields that robotics are being used include: manufacturing (from cookies and candies to cars and computers), medicine (neurosurgery, radiation therapy, and even some forms of diagnosis), warehouse operations (increasing efficiency and productivity) and in law enforcement (such as bomb detecting robots).
The future of robotics, as analyzed by RoboHub Online is in the fields of: drones, prosthetics and exoskeletons, artificial assistants and believe-it-or- not driver-less cars! These areas are set to explode into the business world, in fact, to quote William Gibson: “the future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.”Benefits of Robotics in the Business world – Robotics have already begun to impact the business world. What are some of the benefits of the robotic revolution?Robots can reduce risk of injury to humans in dangerous work environments. Industrial and manufacturing jobs are not always the safest, and by implementing robots over humans this can prevent people from being exposed to dangerous, stressful, or unhealthy environments.
The perfect example of this is the use of robotics in the military, where humans can stay out of harms way in dangerous situations including the use of unmanned planes. Robots are more precise and efficient than humans. Medical, and industrial errors can be almost eliminated with the use of robots. By using robots, businesses can see massive savings and cost effective changes to jobs that may take humans days to complete. Robots can produce high quality products. High-quality products can lead to higher sales, which means the company that uses technology like robots is more likely to stay alive and vital, which is good for the economy.Employee satisfaction.
Robots seem to be everywhere these days, on the big screen in popular science fiction movies, in books and in toy stores, and also in a real way improving our workplaces and other aspects of our daily lives. Primitive robots were machines designed to automatically perform a specific task. Today, Robots have become significantly more sophisticated in modern times.
Job security is always a concern among union employees when the idea of robots is discussed. There are, however, many applications of the technology that enhance worker’s jobs, too. A good example is with the materials handling function, where machines can perform tasks that are repetitive or even dangerous for employees to perform.More and more newscasters are relying on drones instead of helicopter pilots for aerial footage. Mine companies such as Rio Tinto in Australia use robots to explore mines. They can even go down manholes and investigate clogged sewer pipes.Aside from creating a safer work environment, it also allows employees to work in new ways, like overseeing and operating the robotics doing the work.
The means people are empowered to focus on higher-level, more engaging tasks. These types of changes also serve to improve employee satisfaction, which results in lower turnover.ConclusionIn conclusion, robotics have a great impact on the progress of human development in economic and financial sectors. In the future, with the advanced robotics this kind of influence will become more and more clearly. There are some effects that may be difficult to predict at present.
However, it can make sure that robotics will have a great impact on our society.ReferencesANGELO, J. A. (2006). Robotics: a reference guide to the new technology.
Westport, CT, Greenwood Press.BEKEY, G. (2008). Robotics: state of the art and future challenges. London, Imperial College.