A Viewpoint on Robots and How They May Outline Human Life

Background 

Dur­ing the course of the years, tech­nol­o­gy has upgrad­ed rad­i­cal­ly; pro­duc­ing machines and devices that were unimag­in­able only 50 years ago. In that regard, robots are cer­tain­ly one of the most advanced and inter­est­ing of humankind’s tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tions; but they are also the most mis­in­ter­pret­ed and rise cur­rent­ly emo­tion­al debates between robots-skep­ti­cal and robots-fanat­ics.

It is worth recall­ing that, despite the above-men­tioned pas­sion­ate debate; robots have been out there in var­i­ous auto­mat­ed indus­tries for a long time. Indeed, the first indus­tri­al robot was intro­duced back in 1961 when Gen­er­al Motors installed the first robot to work in a fac­to­ry in to move pieces of hot met­al.

Indus­tri­al robots assem­bling cars into a car plant. They per­form tasks faster than humans and with­out fatigue.

In oth­er words, robots were there for a long time with­out attract­ing the atten­tion of ordi­nary peo­ple. Thus, it is the con­tem­po­rary inva­sion of var­i­ous soci­etal fields by robots (and its sub­se­quent drama­ti­za­tion through movies) that trig­gered and cat­alyzes the cur­rent pas­sion­ate debate about robots.

Exact­ly so, accord­ing to the Pew Research; it has been found that more than 70 per­cent of Amer­i­cans express con­cern about a world in which machines per­form many of the tasks done by humans. Yet, there are peo­ple who believe humans and robots can coex­ist and work togeth­er har­mo­nious­ly. Those robots friend­ly peo­ple are work­ing to dis­cred­it var­i­ous fears peo­ple feel about robots.

The humanoids — these human-like robots that con­sti­tute the new trend in robot­ics — are at the core of the pas­sion­ate debate about the poten­tial dan­ger of robots; because they may replace humans or even threat­en the humankind exis­tence if pro­duce in an uncon­trolled man­ner. 

Robot fanatics on the move

Mouser Elec­tron­ics Inc. (a lead­ing semi­con­duc­tor and elec­tron­ic com­po­nents dis­trib­u­tor based in Fort Worth, TX) and the renowned Japan­ese engi­neer Grant Ima­hara, have teamed up for their Empow­er­ing Inno­va­tion Togeth­er pro­gram. The 2017-year’s pro­gram has been called Gen­er­a­tion Robot, which fea­tures five videos filmed across the world, includ­ing in the U.S., Ger­many, and Japan.

Mouser’s goal was to reach inno­va­tors all over the world by pre­sent­ing how robots have a pos­i­tive impact on human­i­ty; then rev­o­lu­tion­ize how peo­ple see the pos­si­bil­i­ty of inter­act­ing with these won­der­ful autonomous machines. Through­out the Gen­er­a­tion Robot series, the entire spec­trum of robot­ics had to be stud­ied, as will the under­stand­ing of how robots not only have a tech­no­log­i­cal impact on soci­ety; but also at social and moral lev­els.

Short scenarios of the Generation Robot series 

The said video series begins with the Imahara’s vis­it to the Insti­tute for Robot­ics and Intel­li­gent Machines at Geor­gia Tech and speak­ing with the exec­u­tive direc­tor, Dr. Mag­nus Egerst­edt. There, he explores sev­er­al aspects of robots, such as the basics of the machines, myths and mis­con­cep­tions; as well as the hopes for, and fears of, the advance­ment of robot tech­nol­o­gy. In the video, Dr. Egerst­edt men­tions that robots used to be about mechan­i­cal engi­neer­ing, but now mod­ern robots involve psy­chol­o­gy because these machines will be work­ing along with humans and thus they need to under­stand peo­ple.

The sec­ond video, which takes place in Augs­burg, Ger­many, dives into the real mean­ing of robots and humans work­ing togeth­er, as well as the way this inter­ac­tion will ben­e­fit soci­ety. The third video, which comes out in mid-July, will focus on the all-robot-staffed hotel in Nagasa­ki, Japan, where Ima­hara inves­ti­gates the way robots behave uti­liz­ing only arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence. To watch all the videos and learn more about Mouser and Gen­er­a­tion Robot, fol­low this link.

Robotic production in South Africa

Very recent­ly, a humanoid robot was exposed at Nedbank’s dig­i­tal-branch, the NZone, which is locat­ed at the Gau­train sta­tion in Sand­ton. The small robot, which has been bap­tized Pep­per, has been built by Alde­baran with a fund­ing from Soft­Bank. Pep­per is with­in the cat­e­go­ry of demon­stra­tion robots, mean­ing these ones that oper­ate in retail stores and inter­act with cus­tomers by pro­vid­ing a full inven­to­ry of stock. They are also able to place orders and cap­ture deliv­ery details while nav­i­gat­ing the store.

Many were aston­ished when this human-made crea­ture intro­duced ”her­self” say­ing via

a metal­lic voice: ‘Hi, I’m Pep­per’! Read more here.

Ear­ly this year, 10 years old Karabo Mat­lali from Four­ways had amazed peo­ple when she built and cod­ed a mini robot using Lego pieces. This Grade 5 genius pupil at Maria Montes­sori House in Four­ways, north­ern Johan­nes­burg, start­ed to learn the art of cod­ing since she was only six years old! You can read her full sto­ry by click­ing here.

Aside, humanoids, robots have been per­form­ing high­ly spe­cial­ized tasks with­in var­i­ous indus­tries; includ­ing human med­i­cine; specif­i­cal­ly, the robot­ic surgery as you can have a small overview in the video below.

The da Vin­ci robot­ic tech­nol­o­gy is installed at three Net­care hos­pi­tals.

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