Not so long ago, any conversation about robotics was sure to be one shrouded in the context of fantasy and sci-fi. Yet, today, bots have become almost a natural part of the world we live in. Not only do we have clever devices like automated vacuums cleaning up in our homes, and smart thermostats controlling our temperature, but we also have chatbots, conferencing bots, and countless other unique devices too.
Evolutions in the digital world have forced us to redefine how we look at “bots”. A robot doesn’t have to be something with arms and legs that looks like a human and interacts with us in a conversational manner. Instead, a robot can be any machine that’s capable of carrying out a complex series of actions. A “smart” robot takes this concept to the next level by implementing machine learning concepts like natural language processing and contextual analysis so that these robots can make decisions and learn for themselves.
Introducing the Smart Robot Revolution
A smart robot is simple any artificial intelligence system that can learn from its experience and environment, and effectively build upon its skills using that knowledge. Most of the innovations in smart robotics feature devices that are specifically focused on one task, like sorting through legal papers or diagnosing patients based on examination information.
As artificial intelligence continues to evolve and the way we look at robotics changes, it’s safe to say that these developments will have a huge impact on humans in the next few decades. From micro-bots that can be used to track and kill cancer in a patient, to robots that can monitor environmental problems and repair issues with pollution, the opportunities are endless.
How are Smart Robots Different from Standard Bots?
The key component that sets smart robotics apart from traditional robotics is the fact that smart robots can interact and collaborate with humans – often learning from their behaviour and working alongside them. One early example of what a smart robot might look like is the Rethink Robotics bot “Baxter“. This industrial android can work alongside employees on a factory floor and deal with high-precision repetitive tasks on their behalf.
The more we learn about AI, the more we discover new tasks that can be augmented and automated with smart robots and machines. For instance, today’s smart robots can not only manage things like manual labour but also cognitive tasks too. In fact, today’s smart robotics are so intuitive that Gartner believes that around one in three jobs will be taken by smart machines by the year 2025.
The Possibilities of Smart Robotics
There’s an ongoing argument in the world of AI relating to whether robots will take our jobs or not. Some believe that these devices will simply supplement our work and make us more effective in our careers. One area that has the potential to be heavily impacted by smart robotics is that of robotic surgery. There are currently devices out there that can perform highly intricate surgical procedures with only minimal input from a professional, or no input at all.
As we move into the future, it’s hard to predict where the future of smart robotics might take us. We’re sure to see things like immersive virtual reality experiences and disruption in the collaborative workplace, but everything else is an estimation at best.