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What is the future use-cases of robotic engineers?

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Rebecca’s Answer

I can give you advice on behalf of the medical device field specifically. The field of surgical robotics is expected to grow much faster than traditional laparoscopy in the coming years due to the benefits including: ergonomic improvements, allowing less skilled surgeons to perform difficult procedures, possibility for remote surgery, etc. This is an exciting field that will require engineers skilled in robotics.

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Mark’s Answer

I believe there is a very bright future for robotics engineers as our society begins to incorporate more and more automation into practice. There will be a strong influx of technology into this space, specifically wireless technology as 5G ushers in the 4th industrial revolution. Manufacturing will change drastically in a positive way where robotics will play a major role in the production taking place in factories and warehouses, and 5G technology will help make all of this possible. This will make it very important for our us to have robotics engineers available in the work force to help create, build and maintain these types of environments.

This type of technological advancement in robotics will touch many other industries outside of manufacturing as well. For example healthcare will also incorporate this type of technology for sure.

Mark recommends the following next steps:

Continue on your path of robotics engineering from an education perspective
Learn as much as you can on how technology, specifically wireless and 5G will transform the work place and society

Thanks a lot!!😊 Karthik N.

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Syed’s Answer

Hi Karthik,

I think in light of coronavirus, we’re going to see even more need for robotics in healthcare. Putting millions of healthcare workers at risk again during the next outbreak is a difficult thing to ask. It will be critical to have sophisticated robots that can take care of patients under the supervision of a handful of experts.

Now on the flip side that will run the risk of putting a lot of talented, kind and smart people out of work who also tend to have a lot of student loan debt. At least a handful of these people can be hired as experts by robotics companies both pre- and post-production. There’s no easy solution, unfortunately.

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Rohit’s Answer

1. Medical and healthcare
Robots are already assisting surgeons around the world. In fact, BIS Research has pointed out that surgical systems retain the highest share of the medical robotics market. Other types of robots in healthcare include systems for pharmaceuticals testing and dispensing, materials handling and disinfecting in hospitals, therapeutic and wearable devices, and robots and AI for diagnosis.

Surgical robots can improve the accuracy of movements, reduce potential errors, and reduce recovery times and the risk of complications. However, the technology is being applied to a relatively limited set of procedures — abdominal, cardiac, orthopedic, spinal, and some neurosurgical.

The engineers developing and supporting surgical robots need to understand the specific application. For instance, consider a device to enable a surgeon to remotely make minimally invasive incisions. It doesn’t replace the doctor, but handles precise movements to relieve the cognitive load.

Not only must developers build and test the software, but they also need to create the necessary software for the desired levels of precision and autonomy. What controls and user interface are needed? What network infrastructure must one have for a reliable connection and real-time adjustments?

Not only should roboticists work closely with doctors, but they should also factor in interoperability and the intended use for the surgical system as the market grows.

2. Agriculture
Automation has been part of agriculture for many years, but it’s now evolving and growing, thanks to precision agriculture using drones and AI data analytics, as well as continuing labor shortages, particularly for fruit picking. The hardware engineers and software developers who take advantage of these trends driving field robotics will be successful.

The number of agricultural robots shipping will reach 727,000 units per year by 2025, predicts Tractica Research.

Robots are already helping milk cows, plant and monitor crops, and manage harvests. The Internet of Things (IoT) is not limited to factories and warehouses, as robots, autonomous vehicles such as tractors, and drones must be reliable, affordable, and easy to use and upgrade.

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3. Consumer and household
Smart speakers, smart vacuums, and smart homes are just the beginning of automation for consumers. Connectivity to the Web and other devices, natural-language interfaces, and an ecosystem of useful applications are key enabling technologies.

Although social robots have had problems competing with existing systems such as smartphones or Amazon Echo and Google Home, several companies are working on domestic robots. Such robots could do more than answer queries, with programming to allow people to age in place, educate children, and actually interact with their environments and users to prepare meals or clean.

Husqvarna, iRobot, and Worx are offering autonomous lawn mowers that are essentially like Roombas for the outdoors.

As with any other application, consumer-focused robotics will need software, mapping and connectivity, and data platforms to drive their operation. It’s all in the code, as they say. It will be up to developers to find unique approaches to common household chores.

Entertainment is yet another aspect of consumer robots, some of which will likely have humanoid limbs made possible through pneumatic systems. Imagine an android assistant that can carry objects and would be useful just about anywhere.

4. Automotive and transportation
Despite safety setbacks, ongoing design challenges, and public skepticism, self-driving cars, trucks, and buses are on their way, as both major automakers and tech firms invest heavily and hire engineers away from other aspects of robotics. Beyond Tesla’s autonomous mode, robots are also useful for testing and manufacturing next-generation vehicles.

Yamaha’s MOTOBOT, for instance, is a humanoid robot that rides motorcycles and is expressly designed to collect real-time information about each experience. The data is then used to enhance and develop new vehicles. Self-driving fleet vehicles such as buses and trucks are more likely in the short term than affordable, individual passenger cars.

The sensors, AI processors, and other systems that will bring autonomous vehicles to the roads still need refinement, economies of scale, and standardization and regulatory compliance, guaranteeing demand for developers for years to come.

5. Emergency and first response
Mobile robots can be used in place of human first responders to sift through the wreckage after a hurricane, tornado, or other disaster. Drones can spot survivors after a flood or earthquake, or even navigate underneath a collapsed structure.

These are not unlike the robots used in military and law enforcement fields. They can either be autonomous and capable of acting without human input or controlled remotely via proprietary navigation systems. They can also actively fight fires, relay medical supplies, or help with cleanup.

In either case, developers will need to plan for every possible contingency which might mean spending some time out in the field to understand how these devices can aid people in disaster scenarios.

6. Military and law enforcement
As with some of the industries mentioned above, military and law enforcement authorities have also recognized the value of robotics. Adoption in this sector is likely to continue growing, as robots expand beyond those used for explosive ordnance removal and surveillance.

Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and many other companies all work on military-grade robots, unmanned systems, and AI that can help in active combat on land, in the air, and in the water. Small drones can be deployed alongside robots for intelligence gathering and situational awareness, which is also useful in law enforcement situations. And every offensive technology has a defensive counterpart.

The promise of drones, ground robots, and some exoskeletons is to relieve personnel of certain burdens while enhancing their safety.

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Vikash Raja Samuel’s Answer

Think anything that is dangerous for humans, is repetitive, has a fixed sequence of steps to reach the goal or could be taught with an array of examples, all of these are jobs that will be automated and given to robots in the future. Eg: Food Delivery, Warehouse Operations, Driving in a controlled environment, Lab Testing, Manufacturing pipelines etc

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Lotan’s Answer

As my fellows wrote ,only today there are more then 9 million robots around the world.
There are robots for every industry ,there is a technological trend called robotic process automation that involves software robots doing operational ,finance,service repepetive tasks and also some using a.i technology.
So it will grow exponentially in the next years to come.

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Dipen’s Answer

Robotic surgery is a new trend in medical device industry and will have a bright future. Many medical companies are moving towards investing in robotic surgery. Robotics, Mechatronics is gaining a lot of attention.

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Rebecca’s Answer

Machine learning is becoming more and more prevalent in robotics, so I would imagine it would be a cross-team effort with engineers and data scientists.

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Rebecca’s Answer

I can give you advice on behalf of the medical device field specifically. The field of surgical robotics is expected to grow much faster than traditional laparoscopy in the coming years due to the benefits including: ergonomic improvements, allowing less skilled surgeons to perform difficult procedures, possibility for remote surgery, etc. This is an exciting field that will require engineers skilled in robotics.