The increasing use of robots has motivated a number of researchers to analyse the impact of automation on jobs and the economy: like many things, the forecasts and views are often different.
The increasing use of robots has motivated a number of researchers to analyse the impact of automation on jobs and the economy: like many things, the forecasts and views are often different. In this perspective I like to cite some views and studies supporting the positive effects of the introduction of Robots and Automation. Our German member association VDMA Robotics + Automation has assessed its opinion in a recent press conference. The European robotics association EUnited Robotics also published a position focusing on the growth associated with the use of Robots. The main conclusion is that robots have a huge impact on productivity and competitiveness. This is the very foundation of a prospering labour market. Robots improve the working conditions by taking over dangerous, tedious and dirty work in the manufacturing industry and in many cases performing operations that simply cannot be done otherwise. This was also the results of the IFR study of 2012 conducted by MetraMartech.
Other experts also highlight the opportunities deriving from combining machine and human strengths to do what neither could do separately. This is in line with all the potential applications obtainable through the emerging technologies associated with cooperative Robotics. Just imagine a situation in which the operator and the robot work side-by-side, executing their respective tasks to the best of their natural abilities. Robots would likely be used for heavy, boring, repetitive and dangerous tasks, as well as those tasks that necessitate extreme speed, while human operators would focus on tasks that require intelligence, care and dexterity.
Robots also make our daily life better. The two winners of the IERA Award 2015 are two impressive examples:
- François Boucher of Kinova Inc. provided an easy to use robotic solution that enhances the autonomy of disabled people.
- Tom Lipinski of Q-Bot Limited developed a simple robotic solution for insulating homes thus positively impacting lives of people and protecting the environment by reducing energy consumption.
In a few days, the robot community will meet in China, the most dynamic robot market in the world, at the robot exhibition CIROS (8-11 July 2015) in Shanghai. CEOs from international and Chinese robot companies will discuss with Chinese robot users on “Innovation on Robot Applications” at the joint CRIA-IFR CEO Round Table (7 July 2015). Another exciting event will be the China International Summit of Robot Industry on 8 July with experts from the most important robot markets in the world.