We’ve seen a variety of exciting advancements in robotics over the past few years, and it seems that the pace of development in this field won’t be slowing down anytime soon. According to the analytics company GlobalData, the value of the global robotics market is expected to reach more than $275 billion by 2025, compared to $98 billion in 2018.
Although the adoption of robots is still accompanied by controversy, those who integrate robots into their business will enjoy multiple benefits, including improved productivity, reliability and cost benefits. As robots become more intelligent and user-friendly, these solutions will provide greater purpose and help us achieve things never imagined before.
Travelling the world without actually going anywhere
One of those things could be experiencing the benefits of travelling without leaving your home. Though it might seem absurd, Japan’s airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) believes robots could give people a chance to visit a specific destination “without being physically present”. To support its claim, ANA introduced a robot avatar at Tokyo’s Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies.
The innovation resembles an iPad attached to a stick, and “placed upright on a Roomba”. People could use these robots to virtually visit their friends and families who live abroad. By the summer of 2020, ANA plans to deploy 1,000 of these robots to help people experience sports events or shop from the comfort of their homes. Moreover, ANA’s robot avatars could also allow people to visit destinations that they consider unreachable, such as the moon or the deep sea. Besides travel and tourism, this technology could revolutionise many other industries. “By placing the world at your fingertips, avatars will open up new possibilities, and help reshape everything from business and education to healthcare and entertainment,” explains ANA’s CEO, Shinya Katanozaka.
A telepresence robot helps a five-year-old boy suffering from leukaemia to virtually attend school
In education, robots could help students to virtually attend school and fully participate in the class. Students who suffer from serious conditions and illnesses are often unable to attend school. Since they can’t engage in classroom activities and interact with their peers, these students can feel depressed, which could make their condition even worse. To prevent this from happening to Oscar Saxelby-Lee, a five-year-old boy suffering from leukaemia, Pitmaston Primary School deployed a robot called Ozzybot. Thanks to funding provided by the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, the school deployed Ozzybot, which was developed by a company from Norway called No Isolation.
The innovation consists of a robotic head equipped with a camera, a loudspeaker, and a microphone. After Oscar logs in using a tablet or an iPhone, his face is projected onto the robot, placed in the classroom. Oscar can interact with his classmates and teachers and engage in classroom activities. Ozzybot also comes equipped with built-in eyes, so it’s able to show if Oscar’s feeling sad, happy, or confused.
Double Robotics’ latest innovation allows remote workers to virtually attend meetings
Telepresence robots could also help remote workers attend business meetings anywhere in the world. This is exactly what the Double 3 robot is designed to do. Developed by the robotics firm Double Robotics, Double 3 consists of a built in-screen, installed on wheels. It’s embedded with 3D sensors to avoid obstacles in any office environment. The robot features two cameras, which can tilt up and down. This allows users to zoom in and out, when necessary. Double 3 can be controlled using a mobile app or a web browser. According to the company, it’s already sold more than 11,000 robots.
Does the future lie in embracing the potential of robotics?
As advances in robotics continue to amaze us, the adoption of robots is growing. Thanks to its limitless potential, this technology could easily become a staple piece in various sectors. Just take telepresence robots as an example. Once this tech becomes more intelligent and affordable, travel enthusiasts, students, workers, and many others will be more than happy to embrace it.