Technology has evolved to something far greater than our minds can ever imagine. What only men could do before can now be performed by machines or even robots. But what does the future of robotics and automation have to offer to our society? Let’s find out!
The Future of Robotics
Robotics is an interdisciplinary research field with the main focus on conceptualizing, designing, manufacturing, and operating robots. It serves a major role not just on commercial and industrial work sites, but also in the comforts of our home. Robots enhance work practices, improve efficiency and safety in production and manufacturing, and overall, make work easier.
Robots are to take over human jobs by 2021, according to a Forrester report regarding the future of robotics. They have concluded that at least 6% of U.S. jobs will likely be handled by robots. Industries such as manufacturing, fulfillment, or material handling are now implementing collaborative robots or “cobots” to their production lines. However, Chris Harlow, the Director of Product Development at Realtime Robotics, says that it is likely that these systems will be replaced by better technology for human-robot work collaboration by 2025.
Robotics is not only useful in streamlining the logistics of work production. Indeed, it can also be helpful in search and rescue operations. Today, there are different types of rescue robots used to help save lives by land, sea, and air.
Robots are also forecasted to play a key role when it comes to elderly care. In fact, a Japanese research facility named The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has developed “Paro”, a therapeutic robot. The machine is specially made as a pet substitute for patients who are not allowed to have a real pet with them while in a hospital or in an extended care facility. This robot can perceive people and the environment and reacts when being stroked or just being held.
According to Reuters, there may be a shortfall of caregivers by 2025, given the high rates of elderly living longer and poor job prospects for caregivers. Taking these projections seriously, the Japanese government has begun working with experts to develop first-rate eldercare robots.
The Future of Automation
Automation is a type of technology that enables minimal human assistance when it comes to certain processes or procedures. For instance, it can be implemented into the accounts payable process, saving time and securing the workflow by preventing AP fraud. It may sound as if robotics and advanced automation are the same, but the two differ from each other. Through computer software, machines, or other kinds of technology, automation is programmed to carry out a task that a human body can conduct. Robots, on the other hand, are physical machines that have sensors, motors, controllers, Elmo’s servo drive series, and other components. This machine is already programmed to carry out a certain function, mostly autonomously.
According to a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and other forms of smart automation continue to grow and expand daily. This technology is believed to have the power to boost productivity as well as produce new and improved products and services. With this trend growing into the unforeseeable future, robotics and automation are projected to contribute vastly to the growth of the economy.
What Impact Will Automation Have on the Future Society?
A Mix of Automation and Human Labor in the Workforce
The biggest possibility that the robotics and automation industry will bring is the replacement of blue-collar workers with this technology. This would undoubtedly result in high rates of unemployment. However, most jobs require a subset of skills from different domains, which can prove difficult to automate altogether. As a result, human labor will still be required for more complex tasks.
The good news is that even if total automation is implemented by 2030, not everyone will lose work. As economies grow, there will still be a demand for a variety of skills, according to Mckinsey’s study. However, some may need to switch occupations depending on the economic pressures and technological advancement. Of course, workers will also need to evolve and acquire new skills to cope with the automation processes.
Irrational Behavior Toward Automation
If we become accustomed to automation, we may end up becoming a bit lazy or selective in doing everyday tasks. Instead of exerting some effort into doing simple work, we may opt to have it automated, even if it delivers poor results. Reactions toward automation will still vary according to each individual.
Most probably, automation will also take over the education sector. But there is a possibility of a shortage of technically trained personnel that can handle this transition. Because of this, there might be a huge demand for vocational and technical training in the decades to come.
Carefully managed automation processes can create environmental improvements. This can be made possible with automation and the correct environmental objectives and management systems. Upcoming technologies are in the works for possible emission reduction. As a greater number of productions implement automation, there will be a smaller amount of waste in heat generation while using a minimum amount of power. Overall, these advancements can benefit the environment in the long run.
What Would Robots Be Like in 2050?
According to Futurologist Dr. Ian Pearson, robots will be a common part of a household by 2050. Families may even hire them as helpers and pay for their services. Dr. Pearson believes that in approximately thirty years, robots will be able to cook or clean homes. Currently, there are around 60 million robots all over the world. Dr. Pearson predicts that this number will go up to 9.4 billion, or outnumber the human population by 5% in 2050.
What Jobs Have the Highest Probability of Automation?
Some of the jobs that are at high risk of being automated as per Oxford University are the following:
- Cargo and Freight Agents
- Data Entry Keyers
- Hand Sewers
- Insurance Underwriters
- Library Technicians
- Mathematical Technicians
- New Accounts Clerks
- Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators
- Tax Preparers
- Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers
- Watch Repairers
Jobs with repetitive tasks, like data entry employees and telemarketers, tend to be overly boring and uninspired. Therefore, it would be a benefit for employees to pass off this task to automation instead. Companies may also ask for the help of data entry workers to interpret data that AI won’t be able to do. Thus, skill combination may be required to deliver accurate data interpretation.
Telemarketing, on the other hand, will not become completely obsolete, since sales will always play a major role in any kind of business. As long as entrepreneurship is around, sales will always be in need. Hence, telemarketers will just have to upgrade their skills and adjust to the changes that automation will bring.
The future of robotics and automation can be scary but at the same time exciting. Although there’s a big possibility that most jobs will be taken over by robots or automation technology, there will still be jobs available for everyone due to the changes and demands of the future economy. One thing is for sure – there’s no stopping the robotics and automation technology from growing!
Robotics and automation can sometimes be difficult to understand. But do not fret, FromDev.com has all the details you need to understand the changing world of technology. Our blog caters to different kinds of topics, from trends and business to AI and other forms of technology. Start your immersion with our insightful content today!