There’s no doubt that there have been rapid developments in technology with regard to robotics. And with AI continually advancing, automation will make a stronger presence in the workforce. In fact, the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) predicts that there will be 1.4 million new industrial robots by the time 2019 rolls in. That’s only in the in field of manufacturing. Imagine how robots will affect other industries too.
Many tech companies have already delved into robotics to improve their processes. Nix Solutions have been giving updates about the world of modern robotics via social media sharing. Their experts believe that this technology, among many others, will shape the future. The field of robotics has a vast potential. But how have they impacted human productivity so far? Let’s take a look:
First, robots will increase the level of competitiveness of a company. This is especially true for small to medium sized businesses that cannot afford to have a lot of manpower yet. By making use of automated systems like RPAs, they can make their processes more efficient and effective.
Make Tasks Easier
There are many times when employees get stuck in certain tasks. Because of this, they waste a lot of time which can otherwise be spent doing more productive things. As productivity becomes low, revenue decreases as well. Robots can help eliminate the wasted time by taking over repetitive tasks. When they are programmed to perform those tasks, they can do them more quickly and efficiently.
Increase The Number of Jobs
While most employees might disagree with this, it is actually quite true. Increased productivity can lead to an increase in demand. An increase in demand will also lead to an increase in job opportunities. There are a lot of tasks that can’t be done by robots anyway. Thus, there will still be a high demand for people who can work well.
Work Without Assistance
If a robot has been programmed to do a certain task, it will do it automatically. Let’s take RPAs for example. RPAs are rule-based. In other words, you set the rules for it, and they follow those rules. As long as you tell a robot what to do, it will carry out the task intelligently by making use of the information in its database. Sometime in the future, robots will eventually be able to work without much programming from humans. That way, robots can think and finish projects like humans do.
Considering all points stated above, robots have definitely created a big impact in the workforce. When it comes to finishing tasks, robots have the capacity to handle them easily. Despite popular belief, robots have already impacted the workplace positively. If you combine robotics and AI, you will be able to create a greatly productive company.
To know what the experts of Nix Solutions are saying about robotics, you can check out the company contacts here:
The robots are not coming… they’re already here. Ever since the robot Sophia was granted citizenship status by Saudi Arabia in October, a harsh and unremitting spotlight has hovered over the field of robotics. Some may argue that the granting of citizenship was a publicity stunt by the Saudi government designed to frame the nation as a hub of technology and innovation as the realities of a post-oil economy become more and more pressing. Nonetheless, Sophia represents some interesting musings on the nature of robotics and how our relationship with robots is likely to change by the time we reach the mid 2020s. Many science fiction books, films and video games have pondered the relationship between humanity and machines and how it may lead to our benefit or obliteration. From the bleak tech-noir nihilism of The Terminator to the scathing but ultimately hopeful Wall-E, the ponderings of yesterday’s science fictions seem, according to a recent report, very much the realm of today’s science fact.
Training the workforce of tomorrow today
Human Paragon details in a recent article some consumer robots that will likely have a place in many homes within a decade, but while there’s no doubt that robots will likely help to make our home lives easier, more and more people are becoming wary that robots will one day rob them of their livelihood. Any recent graduate can tell you how competitive the job market is and according to Bill Gates, it’s likely to get a whole lot worse. The billionaire tech giant believes that in order to survive the job market of tomorrow one must specialize in engineering, the sciences or economics to survive.
In order to ensure that humanity retrains its relevancy in an increasingly post-scarcity economy we need to think long and hard about the skills and knowledge with which we imbue tomorrow’s workforce.
We’re already seeing the economic and social effects around the world of towns and cities where manufacture is in decline. Unfortunately, the increasing cost and productivity advantages of automation mean that manufacturing jobs are likely to decline even further. As robotic limbs are able to do increasingly delicate and complex tasks, the human skill factor is becoming less and less of an issue.
The service industry
Self service machines are already taking the place of front of house employees all across the service industry. Walk into a fast food franchise restaurant in a major conurbation and you’ll notice touch screens where once there were beaming employees. As self service technology becomes more sophisticated it could hugely reduce the need for service staff.
Blue collar jobs aren’t the only ones at risk. As mathematical algorithms become more sophisticated, AI solutions are becoming increasingly common in helping CEOs make financial decisions, manage their cyber security and run their companies.
Technology taketh away, but technology giveth too!
It’s not all doom and gloom! As many jobs as technology makes obsolete, it creates jobs as it develops new industries around it’s technologies. If today’s fast food employee become tomorrow’s app developers we see how improvements in education, technology and training can help to create a better society for all of us.
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Having an efficient storage system is the goal of anyone cherishing fast delivery times and quality service. With such values in mind, companies have funded and developed numerous different automatons or “robots” that are already outperforming humans at that task and rewarding the investment of big business in the millions of dollars each years.
Already most of your internet orders are delivered in part by our wired friends. In addition to looking at the intriguing technology behind them, we will analyze the development history behind the automatons as well as the risks to our job market if they indeed replace out warehouse worker.
The giants are in
The clear pioneer in the robotic warehouse business was Amazon. Way back in 2012 the CEO Mick Mountz took Kiva Robots into their storage facilities. The process itself wasn’t completely automated, about half of the work done was still done by human employees. Still, the project was a great success, yielding benefits for Amazon. Their operating expenses were cut, the storage facilities were more efficient due to a lack of weighing presence of human error and their customers were served in a more timely fashion.
The results were quickly palpable. Amazon became the top dog in the E-commerce industry and wanted to seize the moment at hand. They bought off their Kiva manufacturer, rebranding them as Amazon robots, eventually starting the race for the first fully mechanical warehouse. Competition soon started keeping in, with players like E-Bay, Alibaba and others moving towards such facilities due to their own logistic nightmares. Today we truly have a battle. One for convenience, cost and accessibility. However, a winner is far from sight.
They come in shapes and sizes
The heated market battle resulted in a variety of warehouse robots we have today. One such robot that generated traction in the media is the shelf module-to-picker system, using the electric drive to bring shelf modules to a picking post for manual handling. This system was taken by aforementioned Amazon and implemented inside their U.S. facilities.
Models are also designed to function on a multi-level grid-like system where the storage bins are on vertical columns within that grid frame and accessed via robots gliding across the top of the frame. They pick up the desired bin take them to ports at the end of the grid for further transport to a picking station. Fork-lift robots take those pallets to and from racking, completing the storage and delivery process.
Some jobs will be lost
The future does have a ring of convenience, but for some their employment may be jeopardized. A recent analysis by NPR shows exactly who may be at the breadline in the foreseeable future due to automation of the industry.
The field of warehouse related jobs will clearly be impacted by this change. If the current trends continue and the industry wants to pursue low-cost warehouses (which they indeed should), 90% of such jobs will be lost within 20 years. Such thoughts are troublesome, but we should remember that markets usually open a door once one has been closed.
For example, mental health and substance abuse social workers have only a 0.3% chance of being automated. If you’re looking for advice on what jobs won’t be automated, jobs that require creativity of thought, help your fellow man, require negotiation and, surprisingly, require you to squeeze into small spaces are a keeper. But I digress.
Why is it good for you
Talking about big business hardly relates to the benefits this warehouse automation can have for you. Experts developing the storage-systems at Supereasystorage claim the general public is becoming more and more aware of the benefits of such a service.
The technology involved in self-sustained warehouses allows for safe handling of your possessions. The automation of the transport process removes the investment of time and effort to carry your things. In addition, everything is packaged into containers, giving them a pleasant look. Having a robotic storage unit sounds better than a warehouse, that’s for sure.
Times ahead will definitely be turbulent, even within an industry that sounds benign like warehouse storage. Certainly the impact of automation will shake the labor market as big companies try to increase their revenue wherever they can.
It will be interesting to see how this will impact the manufacturing and storage powerhouses like India and China as the race for the mechanical worker slowly erodes the human one. Our population is rising while the demands for actual workers is decreasing. The market will have to adapt in some way, but which the million dollar question.
In any case, the consumers are yielding the benefits when they shop for years. But now they can finally experience themselves to have a self-storage unit.
A few months ago, great minds at Merrill Lynch put their heads together to think about the future of robotics. They ended up churning out a report that was over 300 pages long. The report drew together all the latest thinking on the subject of the upcoming robotic revolution. And their aim was to provide some sort of guidance to banks and investors looking to get into the sector.
What they concluded was nothing short of remarkable. They pitched the upcoming robotics revolution as the “fourth industrial revolution.” In other words, it was on a scale comparable to the previous three: steam power, mass production, and electronics. But arguably, the robotics revolution has the potential to outshine all of these prior advances. The reason is that those all relied on the finite human intellect and number. People are only so smart. And we can’t just grow thousands of human beings in the lab to work in Foxconn factories. (Although they’re probably working on it).
This is what makes the next revolution so exciting. Autonomous machines are going to be both vastly more intelligent in some applications, as well as more numerous. We’re going to start seeing strong positive feedback loops. Artificially intelligent robots will be able to evaluate their own systems. Then they’ll be able to suggest to engineers methods to improve them. As they improve, they’ll get better at designing better systems and so on. The potential of the technology is, therefore, truly mind-boggling.
But is this just a load of hot-air. Or are we really on the cusp of a robot revolution? Here are some tell-tale signs that we are.
Fewer Jobs In Finance
One of the first places that robots will make an appearance is in finance. These aren’t going to be humanoid robots, like Asimo. They’re not even going to be physical, like Amazon warehouse robots. Instead, they’re going to be in software, making decisions. Perhaps the first area that’s going to see a drop-off in jobs is finance. Right now, a lot of jobs in the financial sector are tied up in analytics. But machines are much better, even today, at doing analytical work than people.
According to the Guardian, robots could replace up to 35 percent of jobs in the UK and 47 percent in the US. And most of those will be accountants, analysts, and statistical technicians. Why? Because computer programs will be able to replicate almost all of their functions. And they won’t need six-figure salaries to boot.
Additive Manufacturing On The Rise
Right now the additive manufacturing industry is getting very excited about robotics. And it should be. It’s a monumental opportunity for the sector.
MIT announced in April that they had made the first ever 3D printed robot made from both solids and liquids. MIT’s robot literally walked out of its printer. But the cool science hid the real value of the story. What it revealed was how additive manufacturing is making robots customisable.
Now that 3D printing has gone mainstream, this is a technology that’s available to all businesses. And there are plenty of options out there. For example, it’s easy to discover Zortrax 3D printing ecosystem and put it to use in your firm.
Global Robotics Market Expanding In All Sectors
Merrill Lynch’s report then went into the different sectors all experiencing growth in the use of robots. There are markets in commercial, personal, industrial and military settings. And because these markets are so diverse, it suggests that there will be sustained demand for robots. Back in 2000, the global robotics market was worth a mere $7.4 billion. By 2015 that had shot up to $26.9 billion. And by 2025 it will hit $66.9 billion, according to the report.
That growth is expected to be driven by all sectors going forward. Companies will demand more robots to improve their customer service. Individuals will demand robots as personal assistants and vacuum cleaners. The military will demand more drones and other autonomous, weaponized vehicles. And industry will continue to automate rote tasks.
The threat to low skilled jobs is palpable. According to the data, offshoring jobs to poorer countries saves 65 percent on labor costs. But replacing labor outright with robots costs more than 90 percent less.
Medical Doctors Under Siege
Around half a million robot-surgeries were carried out in the US in 2015. That’s up from practically none a decade ago. Robots are just more accurate than people. And so it is unethical not to introduce them to the medical room. But in the future, will we need doctors at all?
Right now IBM is trialing its most advanced medical robot, Watson. Watson became famous in 2011 after beating both the Jeopardy world champions at their own game. Now it’s graduated to become a diagnostician. And it’s being used in hospitals all over the US to make more accurate diagnoses.
When Watson was first introduced, the idea was that it would replace doctors’ traditional diagnostic role. But the industry fired back and threatened not to use Watson if it undermined their jobs. IBM backed down, and now Watson is being used as a complementary tool, not a replacement. Despite this, it’s still improving doctor’s performance. With its help, they’re making far fewer errors than they did when diagnoses were made by humans alone.
Robots That Can Learn From Raw Input
Up until recently, robots have been very brittle systems. Sure, you could put them on a car production line. But the cars had to arrive in the exact position in order for the robot to be able to do its job. If a car was not where the robot expected it to be, the results were disastrous. This means that things couldn’t be changed on the fly. And it meant that robots couldn’t be more widely deployed.
Today, things are very different. Now we have working prototypes of robots that can work alongside people. Plus, they’re also able to adapt to their environment. For instance, robots like Baxter learn how to grip objects, just using the raw input from their cameras.