Robots. The term is clichéd now. Most people think about humanoid machines with arms and legs just like humans when they hear the word ‘Robots’. However, the modern-day definition of the robot has completely changed in the past couple of years. In simple terms, robots are machines that mimic human work. They are machines that can be programmed to do certain tasks again and again.
Robots have infiltrated our lives to the deepest levels. We are surrounded by several robots; however, we just fail to notice them. Something as simple as an electric toothbrush is a robot. This rise in the use of robots is further powered by the incorporation of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies. A recent study suggests that only 15% of modern-day businesses use AI. However, over 31% of them are planning on using it in the next 12 months!
Here’s how robots are shaping our future today.
The hardware robots are popular in the manufacturing industries. We see multiple hardware robots working in conjunction with each other on an assembly line at an automotive manufacturing plant. These hardware robots can easily do manual tasks within minutes that the humans would otherwise take several hours to do.
Let’s take a small example of an automotive assembly line and see what the robots do here.
- Heavy Lifting: The robots are great at lifting heavy articles. Automated forklift machines can easily lift the articles from one location and place it precisely at a different location. The robots that do the heavy lifting are often seen in automobile factories as well as warehouses. The technology with these robots has gotten so advanced now that robots can automate the functions completely at warehouse facilities. Alibaba has recently created one of the world’s smartest and most advanced warehouses. This warehouse is manned by over 60 smart robots that work efficiently with each other to transport goods from one location to the other without any kind of human intervention.
- Precision Work:The robots are great at doing precision work. Unlike humans, there is nearly zero margin of error with the work that the robots do. Therefore, several automobile factories employ high-tech robots for precision welding and painting work. The Tesla Gigafactory is one of the finest examples of modern-day robots working hand in hand with humans. The robots at this factory do all the heavy lifting, precision welding as well as paintwork. The robots know how to use the materials judiciously thereby helping the factory save millions of dollars in production costs. If the programs that are tuned to these robots work perfectly, these robots won’t fail.
- Bulk and Repetitive Work:If robots are good at one thing, it is repetitive work. You can program a robot to work for you 24 hours of the day 7 days a week without facing any problems. You might have to turn off the robots only for a few hours every month to give them a maintenance check.The software that powers these robots can easily run in a loop to make the robots function seamlessly with each other. Moreover, the robots do not ask for a salary hike or moral support. They just get the work done neatly and efficiently.
- Increase Efficiency and Productivity:The main reason why the industry is moving towards full-scale automation is the need for increased efficiency and productivity. Robots are much more obedient and skilled than humans. Modern-day robots can easily learn from the humans and mimic their actions over a million times precisely. Therefore, most companies hire the best workers for a week or a month to train the robot. After the training, the robot will replicate the same results as the worker.
- Software Robots: The software robots are used to automate the manual and repetitive tasks done on a computer. The software robots are still not quite as popular as the hardware robots. However, the RPA (Robotic Process Automation) tools are quickly gaining popularity in the world today.
- Data Extraction:Today, information holds more value than gold itself. The company that can process data effectively and make sensible projections from it can easily rule the world. The world’s top RPA tools have an inbuilt feature that allows them to extract data from various file formats. These tools use the advanced OCR (Optical Character Recognition) techniques to identify text from printed as well as digital documents.Some of the best RPA vendors like Automation Anywhere also leverage the AI and Machine Learning Technologies to allow the robots to perform logical tasks. These technologies allow the bots to process unstructured data very efficiently. The use of ML and AI enhances the overall data extraction process and allows organizations to automate process end-to-end without any type of human involvement.
- Data Entry:Creating APIs and other software tools is costly and time-consuming. That is why most companies hire people to do manual data entry jobs that require no logical decision-making power. This type of work is redundant and costly. RPA tools are now helping these companies replace their human taskforce with software robots.These software robots can easily complete the transfer of data between millions of different records within a couple of hours. Unlike humans, the software robots are precise, quick and can work 24×7.
- Data Manipulation:The more advanced RPA tools can also manipulate and understand the data after extraction. Creating your own software robot is extremely simple on platforms like Automation Anywhere and UiPath. You can train the robots to mimic your actions based on rule-based conditions. These tools allow you to record your own actions and repeat them through a software to save time as well as money.
- Data Transfer:The software robots can easily transfer data between all different types of applications. They can perform the copy-paste function on a computer interface without any errors.
It is important that we adapt to these technologies quickly and learn how to work with them. If we do not adapt now, we will soon be replaced by software and hardware robots.