Robots are not a new concept however their integration into everyday life is becoming increasingly evident as major industries are starting to replace their workforce with androgynous workers. It is not difficult to understand the appeal of robotic employees for businesses, as they can perform repetitive actions with skill, accuracy, precision and virtually no downtime. In this digital heavy age, automation is the buzzword in industries that is a measure of both success and progression, and robots are fast becoming a core component of any competitive business strategy.
Although initially causing some unrest in worried employees who fear redundancy with the rise of the robots, there will actually be an increased demand for skilled robotic engineers, computer programmers and so on. An increase in higher paid jobs will have a much needed positive impact on our turbulent economy, boosting the standard of living and dramatically improving our economic status on the world stage. Here we take a look at how three industry sectors are being radically transformed by robots.
With the Japanese government predicting that well over 10 million manufacturing jobs will be replaced by robots by 2025, and Europe swiftly following suit, the Robotics companies are constantly rethinking and redeveloping ways to streamline manufacturing processes such as collaborative robots. The latest offering is Rethinks robot, Baxter, which is cited as the first robot that can work alongside people on the factory floor thanks to numerous cameras and sensors that can sense people and objects around it. With the ability to self-adjust to conveyor belt speed changes, remember objects and halt processes if it perceives any changes, Baxter could be the perfect employee for busy production lines requiring accuracy and precision in relatively monotonous processes.
Arable farming is a labour intensive process where mechanical engineering has been used for over 30 years to speed up sowing, fertilising and harvesting methods in comparison to man power alone. However farming’s latest invention sees robotic engineering being used to accurately assist farmers in the crop selection and weed control thanks to intelligent robots that are pulled behind a regular tractor. The robot incorporates a camera that scans the field and rapidly processes hundreds of images to decide which plant is crop or weed, spraying only the latter in herbicide. The impact these robots can have on speeding up the crop selection processes and allowing growth of produce that has not been heavily treated with herbicides is vital to the end consumer, so expect to see more of these farmer friendly bots in a field near you in the future.
Before you conjure up images of the robot soldiers of I, Robot, rest easy that the armed forces are not about to replace men and women with drones on detachment, yet the military have been relying more and more on robotics. The bomb disposal unit is one such example, who have been using robots to locate and dissemble Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) in the Middle East, and more recently the Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System (MAARS) has been assisting combat missions in Iraq. This versatile robot can differentiate between fire and no-fire zones, and programmed to open doors and even locate and rescue injured soldiers or civilians caught in conflict, proving to be a lifesaving asset to any of our armed forces.