The rise of robots in various industries is making life easier for humans. Autonomous robots are taking over roles involving high precision, monotony, and risk.
The falling prices of sensors and electronics, the rapid progress in artificial intelligence, and the increasing need for efficiency in business processes are just a few of the reasons for the recent rise of robots in various industries. Businesses in all industries, ranging from agriculture to aviation, are applying or considering the incorporation of robotics in some way or the other into their operations. Although robots will eventually have something to offer to every industry and function, they can potentially disrupt and transform certain industries and roles, upon full-scale implementation. The industries most likely to be revolutionized by robots are the ones whose core functions can be enhanced either through the partial or total involvement of robotic machines. Here are seven areas of applications that are set to be transformed by the imminent rise of robots:
Manufacturing automation was one of the earliest areas of application of robotics and has been leading other industries in terms of speed of adoption and development. This is natural, as manufacturing involves the three prerequisites of warranting robotic application, viz., risk, precision, and routine. Robotics can be easily considered among the technologies that are reshaping the manufacturing industry. Operations requiring high precision manufacturing of electronic components, aircraft parts, engines, etc. are being automated using robots, while mass production units are using robots to perform routine tasks with high efficiency, without compromising quality. Robots and automation are becoming a staple in most manufacturing organizations, and a few lights-out manufacturing plants are already operating around the world.
Robots are becoming capable of performing highly complex tasks with precision and minimal supervision. These capabilities can help medical surgeons perform complicated operations on patients to ensure higher success rates. Robots can perform highly intricate operations with clinical precision, and thus, they can potentially be used in performing surgeries even on critical organs like the heart, lungs, eyes, and the brain. Researchers have already successfully tested robotic eye surgery, which forebodes a future where robots can be trained to reliably perform even the most complicated surgeries.
Robotic amusement rides are already becoming a standard part of theme parks around the world. The most common types of robotic rides are robotic arm rides, which can move and rotate passengers around multiple axes to give them highly exciting ride experiences. These can be made more immersive by incorporating virtual reality into the robotic ride experience to make it more exciting for park visitors. Humanoid robots can act as independent attractions in theme parks and can be used to make events more engaging for audiences.
Self-driving cars are being vigorously tested and developed by various visionary organizations to replace the existing vehicles and make transportation safer and efficient. With advances in artificial intelligence, self-driving cars learning to navigate through obstacle-ridden courses, and will eventually be capable of safely transporting passengers and goods without supervision.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have existed for over a decade, and have been used by defense forces not only for performing surveillance but also for carrying out small-scale attacks on enemies. In addition to airborne UAVs, militaries are also testing armed robotic vehicles, which can support soldiers in combat situations and ensure minimal loss of human lives.
Agricultural robots and self-driving tractors are automating repetitive farming activities such as sowing seeds, plowing, spraying pesticides and fertilizers, and even harvesting. These robots can essentially perform every farming operation with speed, efficiency, and reliability. These robots allow the farmers to focus on longer-term activities aimed at further increasing the yields and overall farm productivity.
Construction operations involve the need for moving heavy building components around the site and assembling them in accurate positions to ensure overall structural integrity. A failure to perform any of these activities with precision may lead to catastrophic outcomes that may lead to loss of lives. Using robotic construction equipment can not only guarantee precision in operations but can perform heavy tasks with relative ease and quickness. Thus, the use of robots in construction can ensure safety while also ensuring faster completion of projects.
Robotics is also gaining popularity in other industries, albeit for non-core functions. However, regardless of the function, robots are proving to be immensely beneficial to organizations that have chosen to bet on them. With the continued rise of robots, they will not only automate risky and routine operations but will also assist in performing more complex tasks that involve greater flexibility in both decision-making and action.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.