AI has continued to create huge impacts across multiple industries and continued research has changed how AI affects the robotic industry. Read on to find out how it’s happening.
While there exists limited applications of AI across some industries, the technology is making a serious impact in the robotics industry and the trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. This article will explore how AI affects the robotic industry and what could happen in the future.
Artificial intelligence is en route to disrupting all industries and the robotics industry is not an exception. Presently, the innovative combination of AI and robotics has created an array of futuristic possibilities in automation.
The application of AI in robotics is mainly for enhancing some industrial robotics capabilities. While scientists and experts are yet to realize the full potential of AI and robotics, present use cases indicate a bright future.
Tenets of AI In the Robotics Industry
Sense and Response
Traditional robots are equipped with the ability to pick objects in a predetermined trajectory as long as the objects are already known and their spatial location specified. Modern robots when fitted with sensors are programmable via AI to pinpoint a specific object despite its location on the working space.
Through a segment of AI known as machine learning, robots are teaching themselves within a short period how to handle objects it hasn’t handled before.
The algorithm employed in machine learning gets better as the robot picks more objects. While this technology’s advancement is fast-paced robots are experiencing a heightened difficulty when picking objects that are not rigid.
Robots have exhibited mobility capabilities for over six decades. However, AI makes it possible for robots to achieve precise mobility in complex and unpredictable environments.
Traditionally, robots have been programmed for combinations of linear maneuvers while receiving guidance from signals emitted by gadgets embedded in their environment.
On the contrary, traditional robots lack the ability to maneuver unexpected events on their path of travel. For instance, if they come across obstacles, all they do is stop to prevent the imminent collision. But they can’t figure out an alternative route to reach their destination.
An AI-enabled robot will maneuver through its path of travel by creating a real-time update of a pre programmed map or building a navigational map from scratch in real-time. It plans a path to the intended destination, sensing the obstacles in its path and re-planning the path as it travels.
Mobile robots equipped with the AI technology are already in commercial use for tasks like:
- Carrying goods in factories, warehouses, and hospitals
- Cleaning offices and large equipment
- Inventory management
- Exploring environments that are too dangerous for humans
AI has been used to ensure optimum reliability and accuracy in robots. Manufacturers in the robotics industry use AI intelligence to figure out the appropriate timespan for providing holistic maintenance of the robots. This helps the customers avoid unnecessary breakdowns and the associated costs of major repairs.
The performance of robots is enhanced by conducting an in-depth analysis of the data obtained from its sensors. These include aspects like power consumption and movements. The program running the robot can be adjusted in real-time by using the output from the AI algorithm.
While it’s not a mandatory requirement to use AI for process automation and predictive maintenance, AI tends to make this task accurate and fast. In mega automation projects, robots are interconnected to various machines. Here, AI is employed to analyze the data obtained from all the connected machines thus helping in optimizing the process.
Customer Service and Open Source Robotics
In hotels and retail spaces around the globe, robots are used for customer service. They use AI to interact with customers humanely thanks to the natural language processing capability of artificial intelligence. Interestingly, a prolonged interaction between people and the customer service robots enhances their capabilities.
In the robotics industry, there are various robots that are offered as open source robotics systems featuring AI capabilities. This means the public can train a robot they’ve bought to perform custom jobs that are in line with their intended applications. An area that has raised interest in open source AI robotics is the agricultural operations.
How AI Will Revolutionize the Robotics Industry In the Future
In the future AI powered robots will be able to perform complex and dangerous operations. Although this technology may seem extremely fictitious, AI robots are set to change humanity.
Handling Hazardous Tasks
Robots of the future will have the capacity to take over risky jobs like handling radioactive substances or disabling bombs. In addition, AI robots can withstand working in unfavorable environments such as extremely noisy conditions, scorching heat, and toxic environments. Consequently, AI robots will save countless lives.
Robots and Humans in a Shared Workplace
Humans and robots will interact in a shared workplace. In fact, some companies have already started setting the trend towards this revolution by having robots as shop attendants. Humans will increasingly interact with autonomous robots that handle tasks like restocking the workstations.
With time, robots will be smarter and more efficient thus safer to work with on the same working space. Advances in AI for use in the robotics industry will be critical to the revolution necessary to enable robots handle some complex cognitive tasks. Therefore, the trend will undergo widespread adoption.
The Pros and Cons of AI Robotics in the Future
While AI has the potential to improve business operations and life as a whole, several visionaries have dissected the possible drawbacks associated with AI robots in the future. Simply put, what would happen if machines become smarter than humans? Can they disrupt the current societal hierarchy?
Undeniably, AI robots are more cost effective in the long run but the technology requires massive initial investments due to its complexity. With time, this technology will become cheaper for companies as the need to develop proprietary solutions reduces.
As more advanced AI solutions are integrated in robots, the margins of error will continue to reduce and it will be easier to perform complex tasks with more consistency and autonomy.
One drawback that has been widely discussed pertains to the possible job losses as a result of advanced AI systems in the workplace. In the robotics industry, low skill jobs may be exclusively delegated to machines leaving only positions that require creativity.
- Cost effective in the long-term
- Reduced errors
- Risk mitigation
- Lack of creativity
- Possible job losses
- High initial costs
Both AI and machine learning are set to transform the robotics industry in a huge way. Based on current applications of the technology, it’s evident that it is still in the infancy stages.
Nevertheless, there are no signs that AI and machine learning will slow down on their efforts to push the boundaries of the possibilities of the robotics industry.
Here, you can learn more about machine learning in laptops and how computing technology is evolving.