It seems like everywhere you look these days; robotic systems are prominent. At work, in your home and as part of your entertainment, medicine and shopping experiences. In the past, integrating these systems has been viewed mainly as replacing human workers, where the reality of using robots at work means making tasks more manageable and less hazardous to human employees.
One of the more surprising innovations in robotics system integration is using these systems in medicine. Robotics can assist in diagnostic tests, surgeries and manufacturing specialized medical implements. Using robotics systems in surgeries has been incredibly beneficial and has become a much larger part of surgical procedures than you may think. Robot-assisted surgeries can be more precise and accurate than a surgeon alone, and they can also operate on a much smaller scale and enlarge the view of problem areas in real-time.
The first industry to embrace the integration of robotics was the manufacturing industry, where robots could work in environments hazardous to humans, such as vacuums and areas with chemical fumes. Assembly lines are a visual representation of this integration, where robots and their human controllers can assemble cars in a fraction of the time traditional assembly lines take.
While your first thought for using robotic systems is probably not your child’s toy box, more and more toy companies are developing responsive toys that move independently. These items can fuel a love for STEM, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which can last a lifetime and propel your kids into the tech-heavy jobs of the future.
Robots can also be found in other areas of the entertainment industry, such as film, music and art. Many products you use to watch movies or listen to music are manufactured to precise specifications using robotics. Creatives in all mediums experiment with robotic camera systems, using movement in art and even music performance pieces accompanied by a mechanical band.
Integrating robotic systems into your home does not seem like the definition of a Smart Home because you are probably most familiar with virtual personal assistants and security systems you can interact with on your phone. However, robotics such as autonomous vacuum cleaners, timed appliances and self-scooping litter boxes are being incorporated into your home to free up time and energy for other pursuits. The AI powering your virtual personal assistant can even control and time the vacuum, automatic sprinkler systems, and other home systems while you are away.
The use of robotic systems in science is growing as scientists find new automation applications, and the machine learning in the systems makes that automation more effective. Science develops the mechanical systems to fit a need, that task teaches the AI to be more effective, and science modifies the systems to provide more needs. One of the best uses of robotics in science is exploring environments unreachable or hazardous for humans, such as outer space, deep sea environments or unstable geological features.
Military, police and other defense organizations have been integrating robotics over the last several years, including robot dogs to sniff out bombs or illicit drugs, reconnaissance drones and even small robots which can climb through rubble and find survivors while mapping the site. Not only do these applications take more humans out of direct harm, but they can also be used to save lives during accidents and disasters. Defense organizations funded many robotic systems used in commercial applications to fulfill a specific purpose and later adapted for other applications.
Robotic systems are being integrated into new applications across multiple industries every year, with some of them making it easier to keep your home clean, well-stocked and safe. Robots were developed to work in environments that are hazardous to humans and to do tasks outside the average person’s capabilities. These days, they are making it easier to do everything you need in the average day, such as work, shop and explore.