The Future of Robots: Predictions from Leading Robotics Developers

While science fiction has in the past predicted that “killer robots” will take over the world, the reality is much different. Today’s robots are able to be used in a variety of settings to help people, resulting in greater efficiency and improved results.

Robotics developer Hanns Tappeiner, who developed autonomous toy race cars, feels that there is a huge misconception about robots because of the stories written in science fiction books and publications of the past. He feels that many people are reluctant to use robots out of fear–many authors predicted that robots would take over the world. Tappeiner’s biggest quip with skeptics is that he is quick to point out that the human brain is more complex and able to perform multiple processes whereas most robots are designed for a specific purpose.

The latest robots are a far cry from the predictions of the past. Science fiction authors years ago long predicted that robots would take over the world because they could outsmart humans. However, these robots still need human assistance and are not destructive or controlling. Robots today, unlike in the stories of the past, have been found to improve and even help human and business processes with efficiency and precision.

The advancement of robots has reached a point where the robots are ready for widespread implementation in both homes and businesses. In homes, the hope is to have robots do chores, like cooking and cleaning. Businesses are using forms of robots already. Online giant Amazon is using drones in the warehouses to maintain inventory. The medicine, space, and military industries are using robots to aid with surgeries, exploration, and battle efforts. The unmanned vehicles that are being used by the military are expected to have future use in disaster relief (hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.), law enforcement, and media. Robots will be able to provide real time news stories and updates, and real evidence of traffic violations and crimes.

While many are eagerly anticipating the arrival of mainstream robotics, skeptics are quick to claim that humans will always be necessary to guide the robots. Critics argue that Google’s vision of cars without drivers is far fetched and will never materialize. People do believe that robots will be there to assist and improve in the driving experience to prevent accidents and add safety precautions, but not fully replace traditional drivers.

Despite the concerns, there is currently a lot of technology and supporting evidence to believe that robots can be a beneficial part of a greater technological future. The full potential of robots has not been realized yet. Robots will become an integral part of the human lifestyle whether its at home, in a hospital, in a warehouse, or in outer space. As the shift to newer technologies becomes more widespread, robots will prove to lead to a new era of discovery and solutions.