What is the next critical step in robotics?
07 Nov 2022
Robots are in use across many industries in various forms. With increased use comes a greater need for better technology and more practical applications. As a result, the realm of robotics, and the innovative devices the field produces, is constantly evolving, with the artificial intelligence (AI) that makes robots what they are the most advanced it has ever been.
As the focus of many R&D projects around the world, the autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) being produced are taking businesses to the next level, with benefits such as reduced operational costs, improved product quality, and increased production output just some of the rewards that can be reaped.
The future of robotics is looking bright; here we take a closer look at the next critical step for robot development.
Robots are more and more common
There are many trends that can be attributed to shaping the very future of AMRs as we know it. The Covid-19 pandemic and the changing jobs market are just two factors that have brought the future of robotics into the present day in the most innovative way. Traditionally menial job roles, providing low pay and requiring fewer skills, are less and less in demand, a post-pandemic shift that means there are staff shortages across many industries, including the warehousing, manufacturing and distribution sectors. With this, many organisations have had to turn to robot automation to keep productivity high and costs low.
Demand from consumers has also changed in recent years, with customers shopping predominantly online for their products or services, and expecting Amazon-style, super-fast delivery and return processes as standard. To facilitate quicker deliveries and a more fluid returns procedure, manufacturing and logistics companies have been looking to the future of AMRs to introduce and integrate automated solutions that guarantee higher throughput, increased yield and enhanced flexibility without inflating costs, labour, waste or errors.
Advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics have also led to breakthroughs in human-robot collaboration, making innovations much simpler to integrate into existing operations.
With the future of AMRs being realised right now, an increasing number of organisations have implemented robotics into their operations. Different types of robots are now used for entertainment, military, service, exploration, medical and sanitation purposes as a result. AMR applications have also proven useful in hazardous environments and laboratory settings, where the use of robot automation is safer than utilising human workers.
If you are looking for a glimpse into the future of robotics, the industrial sector offers the ultimate blueprint. AMRs are used widely throughout industrial settings, like warehouses, manufacturing facilities and logistics centres. Automated solutions transport goods, sort and pick orders, increase inventory visibility, fulfil orders and handle returns with maximum effect. In addition to saving time and resources, and lowering risk, automated systems can be designed and integrated cost effectively to ensure a modular, scalable, flexible solution that will stand the test of time.
So, what are the next steps in robot development?
The future of robotics may already be here but with technology and software evolving rapidly, industries are continuously realising the next best thing when it comes to automated solutions. With robots already all around us, the future of AMRs promises to change the way we work for the better. With this, improvements are being made to make robots more human-like in the way they respond to the environments around them.
Thanks to the use of artificial intelligence and strategically positioned cameras and sensors, AMRs are becoming more sensitive to touch, sound and interaction. As a result, they’re more intuitive, faster and flexible. Their use of data means the future of robotics will be built on mobile robots that can understand and react to their surroundings so they have the insights needed to generate more efficient, effective results for the facilities they serve.
The latest AMRs already use sensor technology, cloud computing, broadband wireless communications and AI-focused processor architectures to enhance their capabilities. With machine learning and vision systems helping robot development progress further, the future of robotics will ensure smarter devices powered by sophisticated algorithms that anticipate needs, solve advanced problems, adapt behaviours and produce results faster at a lower, more energy efficient cost.
How will autonomous mobile robots develop over the coming years?
With the future of AMRs firmly focused on machine learning and vision improvements, the robotics field is at an exciting stage. With the use of AI processors and sophisticated analysis software, the future of robotics promises improved navigation, enhanced recognition of obstacles, faster moving speeds, and better-quality cameras amongst other things. All of these benefits equate to huge rewards for industrial facilities and their workforces.
Whilst there are fears that robot automation will mean up to 30% of UK jobs will be impacted by automation by the 2030s, the menial roles that people don’t want can be reallocated and value-added positions found to ensure more rewarding work for human workers. With robots at the helm of these roles, AMRs can do the heavy lifting and hazardous work so humans don’t have to.
The future of AMRs will be AI-powered to ensure a better, safer, more economical use of space throughout the warehouses, manufacturing facilities and logistics centres that are so crucial to the global economy. In recent years, human intervention has become less and less to ensure the truly automated systems organisations can rely on, and this is expected to continue in the coming decade.
Organisations accessing the future of AMRs in their own outfits will also benefit greatly from the data robots gather. Uptime and network connectivity are just two areas that can be monitored. The resulting information can be used to empower organisations, and make their operations more efficient, cost effective, customisable and cohesive.
Ongoing advancement in motion control is insuring the future of AMRs across multiple industries. With improved motion control technology, organisations can look forward to higher rates of performance and safety, the latter of which is already being finetuned with the introduction and development of mobile robot collision avoidance systems.
Guidance Automation and AMRs for the future
Embracing the future of robotics couldn’t be easier when working with us. Both ourselves and the partners we collaborate with are committed to the continual investment in the research and development of AMRs, with the development of AMR top modules a key focus for us in the coming years. With our innovative AMR top modules, we can ensure the state-of-the-art technology that caters to a wide range of bespoke applications to guarantee even better results for the facilities we support.
We’ve been developing a flexible, cutting edge and robust suite of autonomous mobile robot solutions for more than 30 years, and have no plans to stop. It is our mission to help you introduce and integrate the automation you need to optimise your processes. Our autonomous mobile robots are already making life easier, safer and more succinct for our clients. By bringing the future of AMRs into working environments, we’ve been able to reduce driving/walking time, decrease pick and place errors, boost production throughput, and help facilities to adapt as demand fluctuates due to seasonal peaks and changing trends without disruption or reconfiguration.
Remember, no business is too small for robot automation. The future of robotics can be realised in facilities big and small, with small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) able to access a plethora of advantages via mobile robot uptake. Realising these benefits for yourself is simple with our free autonomous mobile robot trial for SMEs.
Our free trial ensures you can experience first-hand the efficiency gains possible with robot automation. Request a free AMR trial today to discover how the future of robotics could change your business for the better.