Incredible Advances In Automation We Are Going To See This Year

Thanks to current events, discussion of the advance of AI technology has taken a bit of a backseat. As a collective, we’re more focused on dealing with the current situations than focusing on the future. 

However, the future is coming. And in many ways, it is already here – at least in terms of cognitive technologies. 

Last month robotics company, Boston Dynamics, released internal footage of its robots dancing. At first blush, it seems like a marketing gimmick – and in a sense – it is. But demonstrating that robots can actually move like humans in advanced ways, is the first step towards a completely different world – one in which we can actually make machines that do the labor of a real person. 

For companies in the commercial and industrial space, this move towards humanoid robotics represents a big prospect. Imagine being able to buy robot workers to do all the manual labor in your enterprise and replace your regular human personnel. It would be a game-changer, right? 

The fact that the technology is a reality is even more shocking, but it is something that industry is going to have to face once the pandemic passes over. New production models will emerge. 

Robotics, however, is not the only reason you’ll want to call a professional for your PLC installation this year. We’re seeing other developments too. 

 

Low Volume Production

Imagine being able to meet low-volume orders for your clients. Right now, that seems like an impossibility. Retooling your lines for each order just isn’t economically feasible. 

However, thanks to advances in robotics and automation technologies, it could become significantly easier. Industrial enterprises could simply layer design APIs onto multipurpose robots, allowing them to quickly adjust instructions to meet specific product specifications. 

Cognitive solutions could even become more like human artisans by using their data-crunching skills to consult massive databases. They could essentially “learn” how to make products and improve their repertoire by simply consulting data already out there. This approach would allow companies to produce many more products than they do currently. 

Incredible Advances In Automation We Are Going To See This Year

More Variable Tasks

Robots of the past were very much on “rails.” They could perform one or two operations with extreme accuracy. But they weren’t able to perform the range of tasks that human arms (or bodies) could. 

In Japan, however, companies are developing robots that can operate outside of highly-controlled settings. Strawberry picking devices, for instance, have to approach each individual strawberry in the field individually. In the past, creating robots that could do this was impossible. But with advances in machine learning, image recognition and servo control, that’s changing. Robots can even tell when the fruit is ripe. 

 

Complex Tasks

Robot movement accuracy is also improving considerably. Historically, robots were able to move within an accuracy of around 0.2 mm. But with improvements in underlying materials and motors, that accuracy is now up to 0.02 mm – a ten-fold improvement. 

It means that robots could do things that require a high degree of dexterity, such as threading needles and placing chips on motherboards. 

Bonus Content

If you’re interested in this subject, listen to a very interesting podcast episode about how artificial intelligence (AI) could help or harm a country’s election process. Click Here for the Remarkable People Podcast’s special 2020 election episode with our Remarkable friend, Gene Valentino. 

 


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