We’re living in an exciting time. Throw a rock and you’ll hit a headline about robots taking over the world, coming for our jobs, overthrowing the human race, or being our overlords. There’s a lot of fear regarding robots and the recent advancements in robotics technology, but automation actually does a lot of good in the world. Here are just a few of the great uses for robots.
Helping people who are lost or in need of rescue presents a number of challenges. Search and rescue robots can delve into dangerous, unstable environments. They can get to places that might be difficult for people to reach: small spaces, tall heights, rubble, etc. They can also cover a lot of ground quickly (drones) and use technologies such as infrared, sensors, and cameras to assist with locating those in distress.
There was a time when mining crews would send a canary into a coal mine. If it died, that meant the air was too toxic to send people in. If the bird came back alive, they figured, “If it’s good enough for a bird, it’s good enough for me”.
Automation can help keep people safe by keeping them out of dangerous environments. Instead of sending human workers into hazardous working conditions — toxic chemicals, extreme temperatures, poor air quality, moving parts, etc. — we can send machines instead.
Machines can work at maximum capacity far longer than any human ever could. They work faster, they are stronger, they don’t get tired, they don’t get injured, they don’t make mistakes, and they don’t need breaks, overtime, or vacation pay.
Robots have no issue with doing things like taking inventory, calling people to sell things that they neither want nor need, and standing in the same spot scanning items at the grocery store checkout all day long. We can automate the boring, mundane, and repetitive jobs that people don’t want to do.
Modern manufacturing is only possible because of modern industrial robots. Humans could never hope to meet the demands of today’s consumer without machines. Robots mean high volume production in a short amount of time.
It’s easy to forget that software programs and automated systems are, in a sense, robots. They don’t have a physical presence, but they still automate processes that have a real world effect. Computer programs can analyze, sort, and process more data than humans, they do it much faster, and with fewer errors.
Uncertainty, unpredictability, and the potential for danger are inherent to exploring new frontiers. Humans have done a fine job handling these trials throughout history, but discovering the new world and America’s push out West would have gone much more smoothly with the help of robots and automation. Fortunately we can still use robots for underwater and space exploration.
Making our lives easier
Whether you have your utility bills set up for automatic payment, you have a robot to vacuum your floors, or you’re thinking about investing in a robot to cook your meals, automation makes our lives easier and more convenient. Robots also make work less physically demanding and more rewarding.
Automation helps eliminate redundancies and inconsistencies. It helps reduce waste and excess inventory. Factory machines reduce labor costs and maximize profitability.
Of course, this is only true if your machines are working properly.
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