In the last fifteen years, robotic automation has changed manufacturing tremendously. By being able to create products timely, accurately, and cheaper than ever before, robotic automation has enhanced our human understanding of efficiency. In this piece, I am going to detail three revolutionary advancements in robotic automation projected to hit the market in the next five years. I will also give a brief overview, which will aim at displaying how and why intelligent machinery (automated robots) intertwined with advanced analytical systems produces incredible results.
To begin, I must engage in the current debate surrounding Artificial Intelligence, and the so-called rise of the robot. According to “University of Oxford researchers Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, [who] estimated in 2013 that 47% of total U.S. Jobs could be automated by 2033. The combination of robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning is so powerful that some white collar workers are already being replaced – and were talking journalists, lawyers, doctors, and financial analysts” (Erik Sherman, Forbes). The only people who aren’t in real danger of losing their jobs are those in highly creative spaces. There are several forward thinking businessmen who have already begun embracing the fact that most blue collar jobs will be replaced and are planning accordingly to these projection, among them are Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt (Google, DeepMind), Jeff Bezos (Amazon, BlueOrigin), Elon Musk (Tesla, Paypal, SpaceX), and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook). Unfortunately, if you work as a; bank teller, receptionist, mailman, travel agent, bus driver, accountant, coffee barista, anesthesiologist, taxi cab driver, telemarketer, or newspaper correspondent, than your job will more than likely cease to exist to humanity by 2030. Why? Two Words - Robotic Automation. Robots are not only more cost effective, but in many situations, they are more accurate and efficient than their human competition could ever be. Artificial Intelligence will revolutionize the analytical capability of nearly every industry. We are going to be able to dissect current economic institutions, or manufacturing practices, and through detailed analytics rebuild them as better than they have ever been before. Robotics and automation are the keys to humanity disrupting outdated institutions and practices, and remolding them with smart technology and analytics performed by machines.
In the years between 2017 and 2025 using estimated “global manufacturing labor costs at $6 trillion annually, McKinsey forecast that advanced robotics could have an economic impact on the manufacturing sector of between $720 billion to $1.45 trillion annually” (Colin Lewis). The five areas that have already begun to take off in robotics, and will continue to do so in the next five years are:
1) Medicinal Robots- Have already began being used in some surgeries. They are incredibly accurate, and cost way less than your top surgeon. Some medicinal robots can also diagnose illness more accurately and faster than a doctor ever could. They have begun being used in third world countries, and were even exploited during the Ebola virus outbreak.
2) Drones- Or unmanned aircrafts, will change a variety of sectors. Most notably will be the transportation of goods. Delivery of goods/services by drones may not be legal yet, but when in history has economics not prevailed. If it is tremendously more cost effective than its other option, than the cost effective option will prevail as it always has. In the next five years, the FAA has projected 30,000 drones to be active in our American skies. That is an astounding figure.
3) Driverless Cars/Buses- This is already among us. The CEO’s of Ford, Tesla, GM, Jaguar, Audi, and Porsche expect to have completely automated cars on the road by 2018. This is incredible; by 2030 it is quite possible that no self-driven cars will be allowed on roads reserved for fully autonomous vehicles. Why? Safety of the passengers, autonomous cars are a prime example of how automation in robotics creates a more cost effective, accurate, and therefore efficient option than the human option of old.