Robots will not eat up our Jobs. Instead, these will make the workforce more impactful
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, industries did not take safety measures for their workers previously. They are now taking care of package food delivery, travel, hospitality, and even energy, communication, and construction for the workers. Most of these jobs can’t be accomplished online- through Zoom, requiring physical presence. Therefore, employers are looking for technologies to help protect their workers from getting infected. They have chosen to rely on technologies such as mobile agile robots to do the myriad of jobs that require a physical presence to ensure that human workers don’t run the risk of getting sick.
The partnership between people and machines will outlast the pandemic and redefine the future of work.
Pairing robots with humans can do physical work and deliver real intelligence. Perception and the ability of making decisions enable creation to continue in environments that would not be safe or pleasant for humans.
Consequently, this pairing is as effective as the robot itself. Boston Dynamics has created machines that have some of the physical intelligence that humans tend to take for granted. Negotiating messed-up room without tripping, climbing stairs, opening a door automatically becomes natural once we cross the toddler’s stage. However, until recently, these necessary skills have been beyond the capability of most mobile robots. Considering both capabilities and limitations of robots, we can better design a role for them within the workspace that enlarges human labour rather than replaces.
There are already several workspaces in which robots and humans work in tandem. While robots with assuming risks, tedious or physical demand in the job, human co-workers located remotely can provide guidance and critical judgement. For instance, Ford is pairing a robot with an engineer to map its facility after creating digital blueprints. Oil exploration and development company, Aker BP is trying to explore how robots can execute risky tasks on offshore operations.
Health care is absolute but impactful to use robotic technology as robots cannot get sick. Thus using robots in certain circumstances can aid protect both patients and health care workers. For example, first responders can now use robots to interact with Coronavirus-infected households and treat them accordingly.
Retail and delivery companies have experimented with robots and drones to sort or deliver packages for years. Growing Covid risks calls for immediate technology-related actions. Using robots to manage the distant delivery of packages and limiting human interactions can protect not only drivers, but also reassures customers. The previous year, DoorDash announced the launch of a food delivery robot and FedEx announced a rollout of an autonomous delivery robot. In this decade, health concerns will boost such robotic technology adoption.
Essential services, such as construction and electricity generation, are also now dependant on robots for repetitive and tedious inspection tasks to ensure human operators’ safety in a remote control centre. They are integrating robotics with unidentified speed and incorporating the technology into the regular responsibilities of site managers and project leads. The impact is strong and effective as the work of weeks or months can now be streamlined into days.
Rather than being insecure about robots replacing manual labour and entry-level positions, the global pandemic requires us to think about how technology can be expanded and even improve our current jobs. A solution like agile mobile robots can be taken up for today’s health and safety challenges. It is also versatile enough to be easily adapted for tomorrow’s need and a scaled workforce. So, it is well-positioned for widespread and sustained adoption. Although the pandemic may have built up a partnership between robots and human beings, businesses will eventually see the long-term payoff of keeping this technology in place post pandemic.