The technological advancements in robotics and automation are skyrocketing growth and improving processes among many industries.
Robotics is helping to streamline processes, reduce mistakes, cut costs, and much more.
Let’s dive into how robots are helping the military, automotive, healthcare, and oil and gas industries.
Some of the companies reaping the benefits of robotic integrations are those working with the military and government. In fact, some estimates say that by 2025, the U.S. military could have more robots than people. Despite this, robots are primarily being used for the safety of soldiers rather than combat.
A prime example of robotics being used in the military sector is drones. Drones enable military units to surveil dangerous areas remotely. From afar, military units can scan for bombs, civilians, and gather intel about enemy movements. Drones are also helping with disaster response. Tiny wheeled drones are able to access hazardous areas when conditions are too dangerous for people.
Robots in the military sector can be autonomous or remote-controlled and come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from reconnaissance drones to firefighting tanks.
Drones are also highly effective in naval warfare. Robots are used to detect and nullify enemy submarines that can’t be detected by the human eye. They’re more cost-effective, too. To give you an idea, using a robotic submarine instead of a manned submarine for surveillance will save somewhere around $680,000 per day.
Utilizing drones and robots is keeping military units out of harm’s way, revolutionizing their procedures and techniques, and cutting costs.
Robotics in the Automobile Industry
The automobile industry has been utilizing robotics and artificial intelligence for decades.
On a smaller scale, many automobiles on the market these days include sensors that go off when maintenance issues arise. GPS systems are another form of robotic technology.
On a larger scale, the automobile industry is utilizing robotics for semi-autonomous and fully autonomous driving. Companies like Tesla, Google, Toyota, and Mercedes have revealed their autonomous vehicle plans. Toyota plans to release a self-driving concept car with an AI system called Yui that will act as a driving companion. Yui will learn your traveling habits and emotional state during travel, act as a travel guide, and even give a massage during drives.
On the manufacturing side of the automobile industry, many processes are automated and assisted by robotics. In almost all cases, robots in automobile manufacturing are helping to reduce workplace injuries, lower costs, and increase efficiencies.
During traditional automobile manufacturing procedures, workers are exposed to dangerous fumes and machinery. When robotics replace human workers in these instances, they remove the chance of human error and injury during the manufacturing process. This keeps projects moving on time and budget with no setbacks.
The healthcare industry is another one benefitting from using robots, especially since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
In many hospitals, robots are being used as a walkie-talkie device between patients and doctors or nurses. Using robots as communication devices can keep exposure to COVID-19 or other diseases at bay.
Robots are also being used in the healthcare industry to refill and deliver supplies. This eliminates the spread of germs and optimizes healthcare workers’ time. When they don’t have to spend precious time filling cartons of gloves and jars of cotton swabs, they can provide more care and visit more patients in a day.
During surgical procedures, robots are being used for less invasive surgeries for precise incisions. When robots are involved with incisions, they can make tinier and more precise movements than humans can. This also lowers costs for patients and can result in less damage to the surrounding skin.
Robots will never replace healthcare workers, but workers can utilize them to make their jobs easier.
Robotics in the Oil and Gas Industry
Robots are also being leveraged in the oil and gas industry in many ways.
Conditions in these work environments are often rugged and dangerous, so robotics is hugely beneficial in keeping humans out of harm’s way. Robots are being used for toxin detection, site surveys and inspections, and maintenance.
In many cases, robots have taken over repetitive tasks in oil fields, like drilling and connecting pipes. Robots taking over mundane jobs keep workers safe and increase the efficiency of procedures.
Machinery and equipment maintenance is another place robots are proving useful. A minor machinery malfunction can cause damage to equipment and be detrimental to human workers, but robotic failsafes and smart maintenance systems protect people as well as investments.
One particularly dangerous maintenance job is oil tank cleaning. When oil tanks aren’t cleaned regularly and adequately, sludge builds up in the tank. Over time, bacteria build-up in the sludge alters the composition of the oil.
Traditionally, human crew members have to enter these confined spaces, putting them in harm’s way. With robots helping with tank cleaning, crew members can remotely control robots to clean tanks and remove industrial sludge, almost entirely removing human workers from this task.
Robots Are Making Lives Easier
From the healthcare field to automobile manufacturing, robots are helping to reduce costs and workplace risks while keeping equipment running efficiently and streamlining processes.
As robotics and automated systems become more affordable, they will be a common asset in many industries. While robots rarely take over entire jobs, they will continue to become the best assistive technology, making human jobs easier and safer.