The robotic industry is shaping how different sectors do business today. Robotic machines reduce the need for people to engage in manual and repetitive tasks and the equipment doesn’t need breaks as normal people do.
We can see that robots are spread in industries like manufacturing, however, many pioneering companies are looking for more ways to use them. So, depending on how those projects go, there could be more diverse uses for modern machines that benefit other industries and the robotic sector.
Here are some experimental uses for robotics that we are going to see this year.
1.Robots That Prevent Isolation In Sick Students
Som bots help people learn and remember information, but there is also a robot called AV1 that takes the place of children who can’t attend classes because of various illnesses. Users can hear and see what is happening in the classroom and raise their hands to answer questions. The robot can also change expressions to match how a certain student feels. Pretty impressive!
No Isolation is the company that is behind AV1, however, it is not alone in this project. The VGo and telepresence robots have been around for a few years now and parents with kids that use the robot speak about how it allows kids to interact with other students in ways that go beyond cameras.
It can be traumatic for children dealing with serious illness to deal with the situation itself and then there is the social disconnection from their friends. These robots could easily fill the void.
2. Robots for Crop Harvesting
Robots designed with pneumatic arms utilize compressed air to move and complete tasks. One of the uses for these robots is automatic crop harvesting.
Even though it is still in the experimental phase, some analysis shows the agriculture will use robots due to the way they could offer reliability and don’t require shifts or breaks.
Octinion is a Belgian company and recently commercialized one such robot – a strawberry picking robot. The machine is the first of its kind on the market. Dogtooth Robotics has created a similar product that was released to the market. Companies believe their technology will solve the agriculture industry’s labor deficit.
Tomato-picking robots are still in development at Panasonic. They use new image-recognition technology to identify the ripeness of a tomato. Another name in the industry is Abundant Robotics and it is specialized in apple-picking robots.
Most of these projects only got to trial phases and it is too early to say whether they might reach the market.
3. Robots that Destroy Germs
Let’s face it – there are so many people who are germaphobes. This explains the popularity of strong and alcohol-based sanitizers. Even as people clean their face and hands, they wonder about the germs in hotels and other places and surfaces.
The CleanseBot is a new invention as a robot and destroys germs in hotels or more specifically on room sheets. The creators of the robot raised money through crowdfunding and more than 10.000 people contributed to the project. The team behind the robot is working on commercializing the product.
For this robot specifically, there are other uses, in the healthcare sector, for example.
Last year, news broke about a robot used to clean and sanitize hospital rooms and do a better job than people. Infection Prevention technologies IPT 3200 robot disinfects a whole room in less than 10 minutes. The robot can be moved with a handheld controller.
Another company offering this type of robot is Xenex. The technology was featured in a study at the Mayo Clinic. The results showed that the hospital noticed a 47% reduction rate in C.diff or Clostridioides difficile infection rates after using the robot.
It is proven that germs are dangerous in hospitals, with the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It makes sense why companies are promoting these robots and it seems that facilities are showing big interest.
4. Robots As Teaching Assistants
Teachers are starting to use robots during their classes. These machines could be beneficial for educators in large classrooms or those that feel they don’t have proper time for one-to-one interaction with students.
Don’t get me wrong – the robots don’t and can’t replace teachers. They directly interact with students. In one study, people who used robots to learn foreign language had better abilities than those who used avatars.
There were additional tests involving robots in kindergartens in China. A robot named Keeko rolled around the children as they played and asked them various questions to help them discover new information. This could also pay off for teachers and parents who are interested in improving and stimulating childhood learning with robots.
5. Robots That People Operate (Remotely) to Earn Income
A Japanese company – Mira Robotics sees a future where people have robots to help them do things they can’t do on their own. They offer a scenario where an older man might use a robot to do laundry.
According to Mira Robotics, the robot can also assist in other responsibilities, for example, cleaning the pet pads, ironing, etc.
Even though these robots help people, the company says they could be a way for people to earn money. People could operate the robots remotely. This technology can help disabled people who want to make money through service-oriented tasks but can’t travel to the client’s homes.
For example, a robot designed by OriHime helped paralyzed people earn income from their homes by controlling robots that worked in a cafe.
Although the project was a two-week trial, there are plans to open a new permanent establishment based on the same concept by 2020.
These are all experimental projects and they may not see commercial success, however, it is easy to see how they have value.
Experiments help researchers push the boundaries for new projects on the horizon. I’m excited to see what’s next. Are you?
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