As we move further into the technological era of the 21st century, there’s a single question at the forefront of society’s mind. Where is automation taking us? Science fiction has long been predicting the use of Robots in the future, but the future is now.
From Tesla’s partnership with Uber to create self-driving cars, to Amazon’s drone delivery and robotic dog project, large corporations are in a race for automation. Artificial intelligence is expanding, and robot technology is becoming our reality. Its purpose is to make our lives more efficient: faster, easier, and smarter than ever before.
Scientists and engineers are turning complex problems into elegantly reliable solutions. The applications started off small. From plugged in electronics to remote controlled technology, to the future of automatically performed tasks. Roomba by IRobot was released in 2002, the beginning of a new era. This robot technology solved a tedious problem: vacuuming floors for consumers. What used to take hours now takes no time at all. Just let the robot automatically roam a home for dust and dirt, it does the entire job for you.
Fast forward a single decade and we can see this technology permeating the consumers market. Medical robots can perform complex surgeries, 3D printers can build houses in a fraction of the time of construction, and Artificial Intelligence can solve problems in real time due to complex algorithms. Robots now have speech recognition, depth perception for location and transportation utilization, and autonomy in decision making. Robots with a single use are being replaced with multifaceted technology that can accomplish many tasks within a single coding algorithm.
The SpotMini, a robodog displayed at Amazon’s robotics conference, can take on intricate tasks like loading a dishwasher, and can self-correct when it falls over or is faced with obstacles in the way of its objective. These robots can open doors, respond to stimuli, and solve everyday problems that are tedious and time consuming. The applications of robot technology are endless, and they are becoming more common every year.
Although the technology hasn’t been perfected quite yet, conglomerates like Google and Amazon are searching restlessly for the answers. Google has created the Nuro: A self-driving robot that can run errands for a busy household. It can pick up your dry cleaning, your groceries, and everything in between. GPS technology and ultrasonic sensors can help these vehicles drive on the road. They can sense other vehicles around them and avoid them effortlessly to reach their prescribed destination.
Nuro isn’t the only one on the market either. Toyota, Starship Technologies, Uber, and Waymo are focusing their efforts on the road as well. Hanson Robotics also just released their prototype humanoid robot named Sophia. She has camera’s in her eyes for facial recognition and can process speech and respond with her own answers, due to Artificial Intelligence.
Robots have entered our world and are here to make things easier. From self-checkout at the grocery store to fixing problems automatically on the international space station, these technologies are advancing at an accelerated rate. We have truly entered a technological era, and the future holds unlimited possibilities.