Robots are becoming more and more integrated into our lives, no longer limited to the realm of science-fiction. Already, they are found in many homes and workplaces, and their presence is projected to increase even further by 2023. Although the concept of robots may seem unfamiliar to some, it is advantageous for businesses to explore the potential benefits that they could provide.
Robots can help businesses to reduce errors and increase efficiency, resulting in improved product development, reduced demand for quality control, lower prices, increased profits and higher customer satisfaction. Further advantages that robots can bring to businesses are outlined below.
Don’t Let Others Do the Work that You Want.
Robots could be utilized to undertake mundane tasks, allowing humans to focus on higher-level processes and strategizing. A multitude of tasks can be automated, such as production of vehicles and other equipment, warehousing, product assembly, distribution, heavy lifting, and even dealing with hazardous materials.
Bots, or intelligent computer programmes, can be extremely beneficial to customer service by allowing agents to focus on more complex tasks and addressing customers’ issues. It is essential that automated services are of a high quality in order to ensure customer retention. There are various options available which enable customers to resolve their own queries without the need for human intervention. For instance, when a customer is returning an item or setting up an account, the process may be automated by a bot.
Ensure the Welfare of Your Employees
Companies have been facing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as they attempt to find ways to ensure employees maintain a safe distance from each other. In certain situations, robots can offer the ideal solution, as they remove the requirement for human interaction, thus permitting lower population densities. In addition, robotic technology may render assembly lines redundant, as many tasks that are typically carried out by people can be completed by robots.
Many occupations are inherently risky, even prior to the emergence of a deadly virus. In a factory setting, hazardous machinery such as heavy, hot, sharp or otherwise dangerous equipment can be damaging to people yet robots are unaffected. Further risks are present on construction sites, where workers may be exposed to the risk of being crushed by large objects. Furthermore, certain professions require exposure to hazardous materials or the use of hazardous techniques such as welding or foundry work.
Robots are capable of performing many of these tasks safely, thus providing greater protection for human workers from potential risks. The following video highlights one of the main advantages of robot usage: enhanced security.
Worker safety is not the only area in healthcare which can be enhanced through the use of robotics. Nanorobotics is an emerging field in robotics, which focuses on the development of miniature devices with medical applications, such as the elimination of cancer cells or the delivery of medication to specific organs.
Increase Business Adaptability
In today’s complex and rapidly changing business environment, agility is essential for survival. To remain agile, organizations must have a thorough understanding of their market, a versatile workforce and access to the most advanced tools and technologies. Robotics is one such technology that can potentially enhance adaptability across a range of industries, by taking on a wide range of duties.
Agriculture.The use of drones and robots in agriculture is becoming increasingly prevalent, with a range of potential applications including harvesting, tending and collecting data. This data can then be used by farmers to adjust irrigation, fertilisation and pesticide usage accordingly.
Automotive.Robots are employed in the automotive industry for both manufacturing and quality assurance. During assembly, they may be utilized for welding, painting, coating, sealing, lifting and the removal of certain materials.
Education.Robots have the potential to perform mundane tasks, such as the creation of dictionaries, just as they have done in other industries. Furthermore, they could be used to provide assistance to children with special needs, enabling them to participate in activities which they may not otherwise be able to take part in.
Healthcare.Robots are being utilised for a range of purposes, including high-risk operations, post-operative physical therapy, and exoskeleton-assisted patient mobility and rehabilitation following surgical procedures.
Manufacturing.Robots can be used for the manufacture and assembly of products ranging from confectionery to computers. They can be employed in order to support humans in carrying out high precision, specialised tasks.
Transportation.The integration of robots into vehicles enables the development of autonomous vehicles or vehicles with some level of self-driving capabilities, such as automated braking, lane correction and adaptive cruise control.
Utilities.Robots, such as drones, have the potential to save both time and lives for utility workers through the inspection of damaged areas following a storm. For example, drones can be used to inspect solar panels for any damage.
However, What About Human Beings?
Experts have conflicting views on whether robots will eventually replace human jobs. Some suggest that for every job a robot takes, two new ones are created. It is likely that the workplaces will be different, for example, where one or more manufacturing employees may be replaced with a robot, software specialists may be required to maintain and improve the robot’s operating systems. It may not be the case that there is a significant change in the total number of jobs, rather they will just be distributed differently.
It is highly unlikely that the dystopian future of machines taking over the world will come to fruition due to the essential need for human connection. Whilst robots are able to carry out certain medical procedures, the care and comfort given by human medical staff cannot be replicated. This importance of the human touch is demonstrated through the psychological, hospitality, educational, entertainment and customer service industries and should not be underestimated.
Robots can be incredibly beneficial, however the cost of acquiring and maintaining them, the necessity for constant energy and the limitations on how they may be programmed must be considered. It is the responsibility of each company’s senior management to weigh up these disadvantages with the benefits, and to apply the same level of scrutiny to this decision as they would to any other strategic choice.