The days where humans and robots regularly work alongside each other are becoming closer everyday, and for some places it’s already a day to day occurrence. It’s definitely a major concern for many people that their job will be replaced by a machine sooner or later, but it certainly doesn’t seem like that’s the case for most industries. What seems most impressive are the workplaces where employees are working alongside these new robots. There are several companies and industries that utilize robots, but also still rely on the invaluable services of a human being.
Hospitals and medical facilities are currently taking advantage of new technologies in robotics that allow for better service and care for their patients. At this time, the daVinci robot performs minimally invasive surgery on more than 3 million people worldwide. The da Vinci robot is able to perform surgery on delicate tissues without the human error associated with a human doctor. The robot is not affected by lack of sleep or a poor diet, and their ability to execute a surgery with the skill of a seasoned surgeon.
Staying in the healthcare industry,an autonomous medical robot named TUG has been released by the thousands in hospitals nationwide. TUG delivers linens, medicines, and meals to hospital patients and has sensors around it doesn’t run into unsuspecting hospital visitors.
In Tokyo, over 140 human-like robots named Pepper are in mobile Soft Bank locations. These robots are used to greet visitors and explain new services being offered by SoftBank. One of the defining characteristics of Pepper is his ability to perceive and react to human emotions. Depending on how the person greets Pepper, he will adjust his response accordingly instead of having the same exact greeting for everyone who enters the establishment.
When it comes to robots in the industrial industry, they typically do not work alongside people because of the danger that goes with large, heavy robots moving at high speeds. Most industrial robots are large, move very quickly, and have the potential to seriously harm or even kill a person. For this reason, they are normally kept behind cages. Recently, there is a growing need for robots who have the ability to collaborate with humans, or co-bots. Co-bots, like Baxter, are designed to be an assistant to the human in a safe, controlled way. They aren’t able to do the intense work of an industrial robot, but they are able to stand alongside humans without being in cages.