Advancements in robotics technology have increased at a rapid pace, with robots and artificial intelligence (AI) being developed and implemented in various spheres of life. Robots are being increasingly used in different industrial sectors like automotive, healthcare, packaging, and logistics, due to advantages offered such as higher work efficiency, enhanced applications and reduced operational costs by cutting down on increasing labor wages.
Recently, we read about Sophia- the first ever humanoid robot that was granted citizenship by a country (Saudi Arabia). As scary as that may sound, with all portents of a robopocalypse, robotics is certainly going to be an integral part of our future.
Globally, the humanoid robot market is anticipated to expand at a staggering CAGR of 52% from $320.3 million in 2017 to reach $3.9 billion by 2023, with greater spending on research and development and different societal factors expected to boost market growth.
North and South America are expected to be the dominant demand regions, owing to early adoption of humanoids for various applications, such as education, personal assistance and caregiving, and entertainment. However, the Asia-Pacific region, especially China and Japan with their rising count of elderly population, are likely to see the fastest growth during the forecast period.
Notwithstanding the dire warnings from prophets of doom like celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking and tech visionary Elon Musk, there is no denying that robots play a significant role in improving human lives in different ways. Let’s take a look at 7 mechanized robotic wonders that are changing our world:
7. Harry- trumpet-playing robot
Built by Toyota Motor Corporation, Harry is intended for only one purpose- to play the trumpet. If you thought that it would cheat (because it’s a robot), then look again. Harry plays the trumpet in the good ol’ way, using its flexible lips to push compressed air and hitting the valves to render each note with pleasing accuracy.
6. Telenoid- communication android
While this may look like a creepy reject set piece from a Resident Evil movie, it is actually meant to be quite useful. Telenoid functions as a stand-in for a person on the other end of a telephone conversation. The voice and movements of the caller are recorded at one end, and then transmitted by Telenoid at the other. Watch the video to decide whether it is sweet or creepy!
5. REEM- service robot
You must have seen similar prototypes of this Spanish robot REEM in many events, promotions and exhibitions. It has been around for quite some time and can make any event look infinitely cooler through its interactive nature. It can offer directions, greet guests and even act as an emcee. With a chest-mounted touchscreen, REEM moves around and interacts with the public as per the commands input into it.
4. YuMi- dual-arm collaborative robot
‘You’ and ‘Me’ makes up YuMi. Remember when all Luddites speak of the dangers of automation and robots taking your jobs away? They probably have ABB’s YuMi in mind, a dual-arm collaborative robot. It does not have an identifiable head but the wonderfully modelled arms can do a lot of stuff. Also, it has been certified as safe for work alongside humans due to its small size.
3. Kodomoroid- communication android
A communication android with such an uncanny human resemblance that you could be forgiven for thinking at first glance that it is a young girl. Kodomoroid is a newsreader robot and can read out the latest headlines and weather reports in an incredibly realistic manner, moving its features and body just like a normal human would do, with clear enunciation of each word.
2. Kaspar- expressive social robot
A robot aimed at a noble and worthy purpose, Kaspar is designed to be used by children who are autistic and often face difficulties in reading the expressions and emotions of their peers. Through minimal movements, Kaspar encourages children with autism to explore communication in different ways.
1. ASIMO- advanced mobility robot
A humanoid robot first created by Honda in 2000, ASIMO, which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, is perhaps the most recognizable real-world robot in existence. It has undergone several changes and upgrades since its inception and is probably the closest thing to a robot companion as envisioned in the sci-fi world.