24 Mar Robots are Doing What? Click to keep reading…
Everything we read, hear, discuss and see seems to be related to the pandemic that has affected each of our lives. It seems that even robots are chipping in during this crisis.
The article I am referring to outlined the use of robots helping combat the spread of the Coronavirus; “a field hospital staffed by robots opened in the Hongshan Sports Center in Wuhan, China, where the pandemic began. All medical services in the facility were carried out by robots and other IoT devices. Patients entering were screened by connected 5G thermometers to alert staff for anyone feverish. Patients wore smart bracelets and rings that synced with an AI platform so their vital signs, (including temperature, heart rate and blood oxygen levels), could be monitored. Meanwhile, other robots provided food, drinks and medicine to patients, as well as information and entertainment through dancing. Also, other autonomous droids sprayed disinfectant and cleaned the floors. This was a trial aimed at relieving exhausted health-care workers.”
With this in mind, I did some research on how robots are being used in different market segments and to what degree. We are probably all very familiar with robotics being used in manufacturing, but there are other less obvious areas in which robots are being put to work. Here are some highlights:
Agriculture – Robots use their complex camera systems to target and spray weeds, they have the ability to hoe, and even assist during harvesting (the systems can pick a fruit every 2 to 3 seconds). Some farmers are even using lightweight, easy-to-use exosuits that ease pressure on their knees and back, and currently they are creating a robotic glove to help with arthritis, reports Erica Corder for Virginia Tech Engineer magazine.
Surveillance – there is the Robo-Shark. This autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is fully customizable, letting it carry nearly any camera, communication or sensor rig. Combine those technologies with its near silent tail fin propulsion system, and this robotic fish transforms into a stealthy surveillance machine.
Absurd functions – How about a cartoon bear on wheels that is designed to deliver a fresh roll to those who are stuck on the toilet and out of paper? We even have a solution to understaffed restaurants with an autonomous food-delivery robot (I actually prefer a real waiter).
Homes – Last but not least are the intelligent humanoid service robots that are touted to help with cleaning, doing the dishes, and putting up the groceries. After watching and reading about this sector of bots, the technology needs to progress before household chores can be scratched off my “honey do” list.
Obviously robots are now a fixture in today’s environment, and it seems new ways to use their capabilities are popping up every day. Hopefully, the Terminator is long ways off.–Commentary provided by Jennings Harley, Lupton Associates’ Business Development.