Emerging Technology: Next-Generation Robotics

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Technology is by far the greatest change agent in the modern and contemporary world. Human beings have continued to invent new technologies and carried out technological advancements, in attempts to make life easier. Technological innovations have proved to be invaluable in almost all aspect of modern human life and cover areas such as health sector, food production and processing, automobile manufacturing and distribution, education sector, transport and communication sector, amongst other fields. The benefits derived from new and emerging technological progression are numerous and varied. Conversely, the harm/ risks posed by the same innovations can be catastrophic and may lead to inconceivable losses for business entities. This academic paper will look into the emerging advancement of the next- generation robotics, by expounding how it might be utilized in the various work environment- preferably medicine, discussing the possible gains of incorporating this new emerging piece of technology, and finally discussing the latent downsides of utilizing this new technology.

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The earlier generations of robots have been confined to the production and assembly lines, especially in the manufacturing industries such as the automotive. This is despite the popular earlier contemplations that robots would, at some point, be involved in almost all aspects of human life and everyday tasks. Even currently, the ones used in these automotive manufacturing and assembly industries have been alienated from the other human co- workers, since they are considered dangerous. Is this the position that the innovators of robots had in mind when coming up with this piece of technology? The bigger plan was to incorporate robots in every- day tasks involvements. It is against this background that the new- generation robotic is emerging as advancement in technology to ensure that the robotics innovators are achieving their dream of having a collaborative machine, rather than substitutive machines.

Improvement in this area of technology is aimed at ensuring that human- machine teamwork is entrenched into the everyday operations and activities such as farming, domestic tasks, and education, amongst others. To achieve this, more advanced and less expensive sensors that work to make the robots be in a position to comprehend and react to its environment in a better way are being utilized. Moreover, the designers are making a more flexible and adaptive robot bodies, which will enable them (robots) to fit in most environmental situations. Their (the designers) aim is to come up with more complex, flexible and well coordinated features akin to human body parts, such as hands. The end products are robots that as smaller in size, with high dexterity, improved mobility, cheaper, safer and easier to use. Additionally, gaining from the advancements in other spheres of technology such as cloud computing, next generation robots are capable of gathering information and intelligence remotely. This aspect deviates from the old system where they were programmed as solely independent units. The ultimate target for innovators is to develop a robot system that is able to interact better with the human being. It is referred to as the collaborative robot system, and it is able to work together with humans, unlike its predecessor which is stuck alone in a specific floor of a manufacturing firm, away from human being. Moreover, this species of the robot can perform many tasks over a longer lifespan. The earlier version was meant specifically for a given task, so that when the task is done, the robot become obsolete. This lengthened lifespan is a milestone in the field of robotics.

Due to the advancements and improvements in technology, the emergence of the new- generation robots will see them being used in a wider variety of roles/tasks. Using global positioning system (GPS) technology, new generation robots are becoming useful in medicine, agriculture, education, surveillance amongst others. In medicine, in China, for instance, innovators are currently working to make small robots that could be sent to deliver medicine to specific body targets, thereby reducing the need for expensive surgeries. This, if and when achieved, would be a milestone in the field of robotics for medical purposes. Additionally, In Japan, they are already being tested in nursing tasks in hospitals. Some advanced types of robots such as Dexter Bot and Baxter are programmed to handle tasks which cannot be handled by human beings. Furthermore, they have been utilized to perform jobs that are too hazardous and monotonous to the human being. Robots save a lot of time and are very precise in undertaking duties; they hardly make mistakes. This makes them invaluable in the medical field.

The next generation robots can work at higher speed with minimum delays and they hardly get involved in accidents during operations. Additionally, they are capable of holding and carrying heavy loads over great distances without tiring. Other benefits derived from advancement in robotic are the ability to self- replicate and boost, feasibility for mind transfer between two robots, advanced hybrid or digital intelligence, ease of upgrading, lack of undesired psychological tendencies such as boredom and restlessness, moral incorruptibility, and ability to communicate. Such traits when applied to a professional field, like medicine, will help a great deal in improving the quality of service. Tedious and time-consuming operations can easily be done, so that human beings become more focused with supervision, assistance and concentration on further research and development in medical fields. With the capacity to work for 24 hours per day, unlike the human, robots are proving to be cheaper labor, if left to substitute human labor. However, that is not the original intention of the inventors. The focus is to forge a collaborative co-existence of human and robot in a mutual and complementary relationship.

On the other hand, the new generation robots, just like any other technological advancement, present other challenges to the human being; especially at the work place. For instance, the fear that they would eventually render human jobless is the biggest challenge. As highlighted, most of the traits that robots possess elude human being. Over the years, the productivity of their predecessors has been great and profitability, high. The human cannot meet their precision, speed and accuracy, amongst other traits. This has left people questioning the impact that the next generation robots, which are far much advanced, would have on the unemployment rates. To suppress the fears, the innovations have focused on collaborative approach not substitutive. Secondly, robots, unlike human beings, need to be constantly powered to operate. This aspect presents another drawback, especially in the case of power failure at the mid of a delicate task such as a surgical operation. Furthermore, robots are bought, and thus, the forces of demand and supply would obviously determine their prices. This may, in the short run, make them become very expensive for some people. They also have to be maintained in a good state so as to deliver optimally. If they are not well maintained, they may result in undesired errors in operations and lead to big losses for businesses, or even loss of life, in a health- care environment.

In conclusion, technology will continue to evolve and new aspects emerge. As this happens, there are numerous advantages that are derived from the emerging technologies, which end up making life easier and less risky. On the other hand, there are numerous risks that are posed by the emergence of such technologies. Next- generation robotic is an ideal case of a technology that is continuing to emerge. It is a fascinating piece of technology that works both to help human being attain some goals, and at the same time, pose the threat of competing for jobs with the same human being. In the medical field, however, new generation robotic present myriad of the solutions to the complex medical situation, especially surgery. Ultimately, next generation robotics will prove beneficial to human as long as a collaborative relationship is forged.

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