Top trends of 2019
- Collaborative robots or cobots are rising in popularity. They are designed to collaborate and co-existt with humans by enhancing efficiency and productivity in the workplace- all this without replacing the humans working alongside them. A good example is the extended robotic arm seen in assembly lines of automotive sectors. Whilst the work of the robotic arm is precise and almost faultless, it only serves as an extra pair of hands for the technical expert. The GROWBOT or Grower Reprogrammable Robot for Ornamental Plant Production Tasks is a project in King’s College in London that uses a Sawyer cobot arm to help workers pick plants in Greenhouses.
- Domestic robots are underlining their presence. Roomba created a storm in the early 2000’s. It even made it to Oprah Winfrey’s list of favourite things in 2002. Since then, Roomba has evolved to a more hi-tech gadget today. Amazon’s Alexa is an incredible voice activated home assistant. Robots are involved in more than just room cleaning. The Alfawise Magnetic does the precarious job of window cleaning by using suction pads to attach itself vertically to the windows. Worx Landroid is a lawn mower that mows your lawns on a regular basis using pre-programmed technology.
- 2019 is set to witness an advance in smart-sensors. Sensors will have inbuilt Artificial Intelligence that will be the confluence of machines and real world environments. Baidu,Inc. of China has introduced OpenEdge , an open source edge computing platform. This is set to enable enable the R&D sector of robotics to empower the usage of AI to make smarter robots.
- Setting up open standards for Robotics is giving way to a precise legal framework that ensures assurance and trust. Regulations will govern the ways in which autonomous machines and the technology involved in it (like AI) are put to use.
Robotic trends beyond 2019
Developers are keen in building robots that will be look and behave just like its human counterpart. With the introduction of Sophia in 2017, Hanson Robotics Has already taken this aspect to a whole new level.
Sophia has many “firsts”- first social humanoid, first to have been given the citizenship of any country and first to be honoured with the United nations title of Innovation Champion. Sophia can recognize atleast 50 facial expressions. The futuristic hope with robots like Sophia is that they will learn and improve their social skills mainly through human interaction instead of being pre-programmed.
The future will also see more pet robots and rescue robots. All Terrain Robots or ATR’s will come in more handy in rescue ops with their advanced sensing capabilities.
While the medical field is already employing robots in surgeries, robotic prosthetics is seen as the next emerging hero. A revolutionary mechanical hand using DARPA or advanced neural technologies has already been tested . The prosthetic hand that can sense touch allows patients with paralysis to feel physical sensations. Though these advancements in Robotics are in the budding phase, they are set to grow and create a positive revolution.