A century ago, robots were the heroes of sci-fi novels. Today, they are a reality, which keeps improving. Robots are already doing a number of tasks in our homes, including vacuuming, washing floors, cleaning windows, and more. They help surgeons conduct complicated surgeries, drive us around, build cars, help with military tasks, explore space, investigate hazardous environments, and much more.
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Thanks to the fast development of new technologies, machines are becoming quicker, smarter, and more independent. It seems as if in the nearest future, robots will replace humans in many tasks. Let’s take a look at the latest technology trends in the robotics industry.
Cobots or collaborative robots have recently become a reality. Numerous manufacturers including KUKA and Nachi are creating robots, which have a high potential in the robotics industry.
These collaborative robots differ from their industrial counterparts by their ability to work alongside human specialists safely without the need of a safety fence, which usually protects workers from robots.
Cobots are programmed to use sensors, which allow them to avoid hurting their human colleague while working in a confined space. Cobots are created to be used in numerous manufacturing industries, improving the product cycle time.
Automated guided vehicles or AGVs are self-guided robots, which can automatically track the route in a manufacturing assembly work environment. These robots can control handling products without hard methods. Numerous companies have been taking advantage of AGVs in order to speed up the production, packing, and loading/unloading process.
These robots can deliver parcels, assemble cars, and even help hospital nurses with their patient tasks. By 2025, the AGVs market is expected to reach $7.3 billion since these robots are necessary for numerous industries, from food and beverage to aerospace.
3-D printing, also called addictive manufacturing, is becoming a big trend in the automotive industry, which is trying hard to minimize production costs. These days the cost of part manufacturing has increased. 3-D printing has the best chances to reverse the process and make the manufacturing faster and cheaper.
Addictive manufacturing could decrease the production time by as much as 70 percent. It could also decrease labor and production expenses as well as prototype manufacturing costs.
Many industries besides the automotive can benefit from 3-D printing in the future. However, the automotive industry currently needs it the most.
It’s not surprising that AI is one of the most popular and talked about developments in the robotic industry. The improvement of machine learning and artificial intelligence is one of the biggest trends, mostly due to the research and energy invested in it.
Robots (especially collaborative robots) will take advantage of new AI developments to become more intuitive. The automated tasks will not have as many limitations as before. For consumers, such robots will move past vacuuming and window washing to security and eldercare.
The trend of mainstream adoption of robots is fueled by the new technologies. According to IT specialists from Firewall Technical, in the nearest future, humanity will adopt robots just as they did PCs in the 1980’s and the Internet in the 1990’s. In the next five to ten years, tens of millions of robots will enter our lives. Some specialists say that by 2045, there will be more robots than humans on our planet.
As the sensor technologies improve, we can trust robots to do more and more tasks, such as assisting disabled people or walking dogs. In the future, we are likely to see robots doing the tasks we’d rather not do, such as mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage, washing toilets, and much more.