Some of us have been dreaming for a long time to be able to use robots for a multitude of tasks in our lives. Today, we see how robots are used in factories around the world to produce many of the products we consume or surgeons use them to perform better surgeries. Improvements in robotics have been tremendous in the last couple of years with new robots appearing everyday. Still, most of these machines are still limited in terms of applications, fields and real life usages.
Robots are quasi exclusively used in a business or service setting and have not yet really crossed their way to consumers (a notable exception are the vacuum cleaners). Even if advances have been profound, it is still hard to have them do simple things such as walking up stairs or any other activities for which they have not yet been prepared (the intersection between robotics and artificial intelligence). With the amount of investments and innovation in this industry, we should be able to use robots in a much more intimate way in the decades to come. You can think of robots becoming a companion, helping with the most basic mundane tasks. The applications and the potential demand for a well-functioning robot is absolutely staggering.
One interesting company which product crosses the boundaries between businesses and consumers robotics is Knightscope. The company develops autonomous data machines that help better predict and prevent crime. This robots, placed on business campuses or any other places, can navigate autonomously, communicate with people, provide intelligent data and even “understand” what is happening around them and their vicinity. Even if these Knightscope robots are focused on a single industry segment, the security play is an example of robots being helpful for both businesses and consumers. Organizations increasingly need to offer additional security while consumers need to feel safer and better protected at all time. Overtime, a combination of humans and robots could provide a better solution to these needs.
In the coming years, we can expect to have a myriad of new robots acting on a wide range of specific applications. Even if it seems hard today to have one single system capable of connecting different verticals and real life applications, we can foresee that this will happen in the future. The combination of these development efforts in different industries should lead to a better integration of these sub-parts resulting, one day, to real autonomous and to an extent intelligent machines.