“It’s great to work with computers. They don’t argue, they remember everything and they don’t drink your beer”, said Paul Leary. Today, advances in robotics happen one after the other leaving us with eyes wide open and improving fields as diverse as medicine, agriculture, education, the environment, retail or gastronomy, in addition to numerous industrial processes.
Tiny automatons are already involved in delicate nanosurgical processes, Artificial Intelligence is able to predict certain types of cancer, the automatons either put bricks or prepare pizzas at human speed and there is no one to beat them in a game.
Reports like the one of the consultant McKinsey & Co predict that 800 million jobs will be replaced by robots in 2030, which is one in five current jobs. If you want to know the most spectacular advances in terms of digital transformation, robotics and automation, don’t stop reading.
5 Recent progress in robotics that you should know:
Towards self-awareness of machines: A team of scientists from Columbia University has managed to develop a robotic arm capable of learning about itself through experimentation -without programming about construction, physics or geometry-. What does this mean? That the robots soon they could be more and more free, adaptive and independent thanks to deep learning, without the need of external feedback or human support. Of course, it will be necessary to establish control mechanisms and ethical parameters, as well as a regulatory framework.
Emotional robotics to cure loneliness: Since loneliness is one of the greatest threats in contemporary society -especially for the elderly-, robots can play an active and positive role in alleviating it. So, we have seen creations like Lovot, an automaton designed to give love, comfort and listen to its owners. Can recognize voices, gesticulate, stimulation reaction and create a progressive affective bond over time thanks to its algorithm.
The robot behind your salad: One of the fields that will experience the most level of automation is agriculture, where other technologies such as Big Data, the blockchain or the Internet of Things will serve to predict natural disasters, optimize crops, reduce food waste or combat climate change. This has led to alternatives such as Vegebot, a robot trained with machine learning that is able to identify healthy iceberg lettuces ready for harvest.
An Automaton that can save your life: One of the fields where the revolution of automation has penetrated with greater success is that of medicine. Robots can do a lot for our health. For example, the Da Vinci robot is capable of handling surgical instruments smaller than the human hand, nano-robotics facilitates cell repair or implanting of drugs inside the body while ViRob is a robot that can move easily through our veins, arteries and other areas of the body at a speed of 9 millimeters the second.
A robot could hire you (or bury you): The robots already assume human work positions of the most disparate. For example, the Swedish agency TNG already uses a head of intelligent robot baptized like Tengai to do job interviews instead of a flesh and blood recruiter. There have also been cases like Mingar, a neutral gender robot that already preaches at the Kodaiji Buddhist temple in Tokyo or SanTO, the first contemporary Catholic robot that listens to parishioners and recites the Bible based on their mood or your preferences. More and more robots are cooking, distributing, manufacturing, answering calls, selling or cultivating… what will be the next thing that our friends the machines will give us?