The Smart Robot Revolution is Here


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Science fiction writers may scratch their heads and invent something outstanding out of nowhere, but it is on paper only. It is only an imagination in which robots are behaving like humans and getting smarter day by day. However, the distance between imagination and reality has reduced considerably. Thanks to advanced technologies, robots are no longer just a robot operating on commands. They are getting smarter. Artificial intelligence (AI), data processing, and machine vision are some of the technologies turning the dream of robots being smarter into a reality.

"Robots are the next big thing,” said Gene Munster, co-founder of Loup Ventures. "You know it will be a big deal because the companies with the biggest balance sheets are entering the game."

Tech giants have geared up to launch smart robots for various applications in numerous industries. The Consumer Electronics Show this year in Las Vegas demonstrated the same. Not only big companies, but also small companies and researchers at universities have begun developing smarter robots to ease the work of humans and improve efficiency. From cleaning robots to farming robots, innovation has been the center of every effort taken for the development of smart machines.

Many governments have been encouraging the utilization of smart robots in various sectors. They have taken new initiatives to encourage the development of smart robotics. For instance, during a meeting with the Public Prosecution—a part of the Judicial Department in the United Arab Emirates—Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, highlighted the importance of implementing advanced technologies to bring improvement in government services, and lauded the efforts of the Public Prosecution to implement AI in the justice sector.

The AI strategy is under the UAE Centennial 2071 project, a comprehensive, long-term government plan that encompasses a national strategy to make UAE one of the best countries in the world by 2071. Among its objectives is the development of education, with a focus on advanced technology and engineering. In a statement, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, said the UAE seeks to be a major hub for developing AI techniques and associated legislation, adding that the country’s UAE Centennial 2071 is founded on a set of fundamentals, primarily artificial intelligence across the government and private sectors.

According to research firm Allied Market Research, the global smart robot market is expected to reach $17.56 billion by 2025, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.6% from 2018 to 2025. Developments in the automotive sector, use of robots in the agriculture sector, and government regulation are boosting the growth of the smart robot market.

Meanwhile, factors such as growth in industrial automation, advancement of robotics for the connected and digital world, and strong government funding for automation solutions, high manufacturing cost, insecure connections with robots, difficulty of reprogramming, regular maintenance, and software updates of the system are anticipated to either drive or hamper the market growth.

Growth in Industrial Automation

Several industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, automobile, and construction are rapidly adopting industrial automation solutions. This leads to the increase in adoption of smart robots due to their highly stable and accurate performance. The main reason for such adoption is to have better quality and safety in terms of injuries that arise from machineries. In the manufacturing and production line, smart robots are deliberately used to move materials and perform a variety of programmed tasks.

Around 40% of the robots are used for material handling applications in most industries. For instance, Komatsu, a general machine manufacturing company, has developed a multi-purpose drone and bulldozer automation system for the construction industry. This drone flies above a construction site and is used for monitoring delivery, inventory, and overall progress of the project. This trend is expected to significantly drive the smart robot market in the future.

To read the full article, which appeared in the September 2018 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.

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