Robots are here to stay, and according to many experts they will take over many more tasks in the coming years.
Where are robots used? They are everywhere. They have been in the automotive industry for decades, and with advances in technology and software, they will not only continue their presence, but will pick up speed. In the past, robots have been centered on menial labor or military usage. But they’re getting more sophisticated.
Jeff Trinkle is an international expert in robotic touch and movement. In a study published in The Robot Report, he writes, “Since 1984, the advances in robotics fundamentals, products and applications have advanced tremendously. On the applications side, the most obvious trends have been: factory automation leading to higher quality and throughput (especially in the automotive industry;) medical applications resulting in procedures not previously possible; and reduced recovery times, especially in the area of minimally invasive surgery.”
Further, he writes that the current emphasis is strongly focused on human collaboration and social issues. He expects to see robotics technologies embraced by small and large companies to help them compete and create jobs, not eliminate jobs.
In the next 20 years, we can expect to see a new class of robots capable of standing in for home nursing assistants, co-workers on factory floors, and industrial workers such as riveters, welders, and assemblers. In the pharmaceutical industry they are used to proofread labels, dispense medications, and lift heavy items.
Industries likely to benefit from robotics are the medical and healthcare industries, food and beverage, meat processors, paint shops, manufacturers of electronics, optoelectronics, robber, plastics, machinery. You will find robots to help automate farmwork as well as housework. Already we are seeing robotic devices that vacuum and mop the floor, clean the pool and mow the lawn. How about robots working as assistants to the elderly who live alone at home?
What type of workers are most in danger of losing their jobs to a robot? Probably employees in companies that draw heavily on low-income workers, especially those jobs that require consistency, accuracy, and endurance. Robots are better at these than the human worker.
As always, to get in on this trend education and training is the answer. So get a degree in electronics engineering, major in robotics, get software certification. Prepare yourself for the future. Older? Consider additional training. Look for certifications that will add to the strength of your resume.
With our aging population, and the constant need to increase productivity, robotics may be the answer. Get on the bandwagon. Get the needed education and training. Be first in line, not last. Get in on this new trend. Prepare yourself for the future.