Catching up with technological advancements is becoming harder by the day. This is also the case in the robotics industry with humanoid robots expected to increase in the near future. Whether humanoid robots have any future, however, especially in the engineering automated space remains to be seen.
Universal Robots opine that the use of robots will increase in the near future and that they will execute approximately 25% of general labor tasks. This, they attribute to advancements in performance and cost reduction.
Of course, many developed countries will be among the leaders in robot adoption with the leading industries in the adoption being electrical and computer products, machinery, transportation equipment, and electrical appliances and equipment. These will account for approximately 75 percent of general robotic installations in the next decade.
Robotic growth will also influence the service industry. In a recent report released by Universal Robots, over 260 million unit service robots will be installed by the end of the next decade. In the last two years, more than 29 million robots were installed in the service industry across the world. These were categorized as follows,
- Approximately 24 million service robot units were used in the floor cleaning industry
- 0.06 million units were milking robotics
- Almost 1.7 million units were used for lawn mowing tasks
- Unguided aerial vehicles were approximately 5 million
- Around 1 million units were used in the automated guided vehicle industry
The remaining categories were inclusive of humanoid robots further classified as a companion or assistant robots, surgical robots, telepresence robots, autonomous mobile robots, and power-driven human exoskeletons.
All of these were approximately 50,000 units. Humanoid robots are part of the smallest service robot groups in the market today. Still, they could become an industry driving force in the future.
Various robot manufacturers have already developed a human-like robot which is utilized as teaching aids and medical assistance. Presently, humanoid robots are dominating the medical industry where they play companion roles.
Humanoid Robots to Assist Children with Autism and Patient Recovery
Humanoid robots have for long been utilized to assist children with autism imitate the actions of collectively assistive robots. In the past, these robots have helped patients recovering from stroke with extremity workouts.
Many companies today utilize humanoid robots to execute engineering tasks. Universal Robots in one of their researches where they collaborated with other robot and aircraft manufacturers involved the use of humanoid robots in the manufacturing of aircraft facilities.
By so doing, aircraft manufacturers were looking at automating some of the dangerous and redundant tasks, giving human employees the opportunity to focus on highly valuable tasks. A big challenge, however, occurs when there is insufficient space where they can execute their duties appropriately without clashing with nearby objects.
The Modern Robotic Movement Technology
Universal Robots has designed advanced humanoid robot models complete with multi-contact locomotion, also referred to as the modern robotic movement technology. By utilizing their whole body to make contact with their surrounding as opposed to its feet, such robot models can navigate through restricted spaces and even climb stairs.
The robot has multiple points of contact to enhance its stability and provide ultimate force control when executing tasks. Further, the humanlike form of these robots provides enhanced flexibility for working in various workplaces.
NASA utilizes a humanoid robot for a variety of tasks. Two computers power its brain and its head plays host to cameras, lidar sensors, and a multiple sense camera which consistently scans the nearby environment and objects.
The multiple sense cameras come complete with 3D stereo, laser, and video to execute the robot’s tasks appropriately. With the help of the hazard cameras which are located at the back and infront, the robot can easily detect danger.
Various researchers have been tasked with developing human-like flexibility on the humanoid robotic arm used by the NASA. The robot features a thumb on each hand and three fingers. For every digit, there are knuckle-like joints while every hand comes with an easy to rotate wrist. Researchers are in the process of creating movements that can accomplish tasks collectively. Use of these robots in every engineering sector is however barred by their force control and adaptability challenges. Presently, the robots need distinct programming for equipment they come into contact with which restricts them from executing different tasks concurrently.