Robots Doing Good

Part
01
of fifteen
Part
01

Robots Doing Good - Part 1

Two examples of robots that are doing good in the world are EMILY, a lifeguard robot being used in many types of rescue operations, and LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots, which are being used to reduce the incidence of healthcare associated infections in hospitals.

EMILY

  • Hydralonix is an Arizona-based company that developed and produces the Emergency Integrated Lifesaving LanYard (EMILY) robot. EMILY is a lifeguard robot that can go places that would be dangerous for human lifeguards.
  • There are several models of EMILY, including ones designed for use in oceans, flooded river rescues, night rescues, and sonar models.
  • According to Anthony Mulligan, the owner of Hydralonix, an EMILY robot is deployed 1.5 times per day.
  • Los Angeles County lifeguards use EMILY to corral swimmers away from riptides, and they believe that this eliminates hundreds of rescues from having to occur.
  • In 2016, EMILY aided in the rescue of hundreds of asylum seekers during the European migrant crisis.
  • In July 2019, EMILY rescued four swimmers off the Oregon coast after two boys were caught in a rip current and two family members attempted to save them.
  • When Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas in 2019, EMILY was utilized by a relief boat to find underwater hazards that could interfere with the relief boat reaching the shore. EMILY had sonar and sensors that allowed for the identification of any hazards and the relief boat was able to reach the island within two hours.

LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots

  • LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots were developed by Xenex and provide a disinfection system that is being used in hospitals around the world to reduce the incidence of healthcare associated infections (HAI). LightStrike utilizes Pulsed Xenon ultraviolet light, which is unique because it provides a range of germicidal ultraviolet light (UV) that includes both UV-B and UV-C.
  • Over 400 hospitals are using LightStrike Robots. The robots work by providing zaps of UV light that cover "the full germicidal spectrum." The robots can disinfect an entire room in 5-20 minutes and are more effective than humans, who can miss spots.
  • HAIs kill the same number of people each year as the number who die "from AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined," and cost the healthcare industry about $30 million per year. LightStrike reduces infection rates by up to 70% or more.
  • The robots are used in conjunction with human disinfecting and are deployed after a room has gone through an initial disinfecting by normal methods.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center implemented the use of LightStrike Robots in the second half of 2017. Superbug infection rates were reduced by 76% from the first half of 2017 to the second half, after LightStrike use began.
  • A study conducted at the Mayo Clinic, the results of which were published in the American Journal of Infection Control in 2018, found that the use of LightStrike Robots reduced the rates of Clostridium difficile infection from 28.7 per 10,000 patient days to 11.2 per 10,000 patient days.
Part
02
of fifteen
Part
02

Robots Doing Good - Part 2

Two additional examples of robots doing good in the world include the ZenRobotics Recycler, which specializes in sorting different materials making recycling more efficient, and Knightscope Security Robots, which provide security assistance across the US.

ZenRobotics Recycler

  • ZenRobotics provides robot solutions for waste recycling. Their robots specialize in sorting different materials from different industries, such as commercial and industrial plastic, construction, packaging, and scrap metals, among others.
  • The company was the first to apply sorting robots to a complex waste line. The technology "lowers costs, reduces manual labor, increases recycling efficiencies, and increases the purity of recycled materials," which leads to the improvement of the environment.
  • They have implemented their robotic technology in different parts of the world, including Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, and Switzerland.
  • In Finland, the company Remeo is implementing ZebRobotic's technology, working with three operating robots that sort waste and maximize recycling efficiency. Because of the technology, "the utilization of waste is already up from 70% to 90%, with the next target set at 95%."
  • Beatsen, a company from the Netherlands, also uses a ZenRobotics Recycler unit, which recovers "wood, ferrous and non-ferrous fractions, and inert fractions," recycling over 150,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste each year.

Knightscope Security Robots

  • Knightscope provides security workers with capabilities through different robots that help fight armed robbery, burglaries, fire, fraud, and hit-and-run, among others.
  • Its robots operate across the US in different industry environments, such as universities, banks, hotels, hospitals, malls, and are used in some federal police departments.
  • Their technology has helped in different events, including the arrest of a sexual predator, the arrest of a thief, trespassing prevention, and vehicle break-in prevention, among others.
  • For example, their award-winning K1 model provided "high definition quality video and license plate detection for 30 instances over a period of 4 months" to a law enforcement agency that needed help with an investigation. This robot has multiple features that include eye-level 360-degree HD video streaming and recording, live audio broadcast, automatic signal detection, and automatic license plate recognition.
  • One of its clients is XPO Logistics. Since they started using Knightscope's technology, it has reduced incidents to zero in the first semester and has saved more than $125,000 in costs related to security services.


Part
03
of fifteen
Part
03

Robots Doing Good - Part 3

An example of a robot that is doing good in the world is Waymo's robo-taxi pilot used to transport humans. Another example is Stryker, a surgical robot used in knee replacements. Waymo offers a robot taxi suitable for disabled people, and situations of poor physical visibility. The Waymo robot taxi keeps speed limit and is "more cautious" than human drivers. Surgical procedures performed by Stryker's surgical robot prove to be safer and provides "better outcomes for patients."

Waymo's Robo-Taxi Pilot

  • Waymo has a robot taxi service, which is self-driving. This service is already operational in two cities across the United States (Phoenix and Silicon Valley). Waymo robot taxis recently implemented an average of about 156 trips every day for a month. The pilot program wasn't open to the public and was limited to Waymo or employees of Googles subsidiary company (Alphabet) as well as their guests.
  • According to a recent BBC report, Google is leading the race to put "robots on the road" at the moment. For a period of six months leading to May 2019, Google offered a robo-taxi service, known as Waymo One, to selected few early adopters within the Phoenix suburb of Chandler. Users of the robo-taxi reveal that the minivan is fitted with a battery of sensors, high-definition cameras and performs very impressively by handling tricky left turns, "spotting other road users and slowing down" whenever it passes a school.
  • Users of Waymo's robo-taxi reveal that it keeps speed limit, and is "more cautious" than human drivers. In some parts of the world, overspeeding is the top factor for accidents; about 70.4% of all road accidents that accounted for 1,47,913 deaths in India were caused by overspeeding in 2017. According to NHTSA, overspeeding killed nearly 9,378 people in the United States in 2018.
  • Waymo has performed 16 million kilometers using robots/self-driving cars on public roads without any fatality and has "received a remarkable authorization" in the United States issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The authorization allows Waymo to operate robot taxis without any human in the driver's seat. Waymo's accident-free record was recently setback by a single accident after a human-driven car violated traffic signals and ran into the Waymo robot-taxi, preliminary investigations reveal that the robocar was not at fault.
  • Several challenges associated with human drivers that driver-less cars/robot taxis (including Waymo's robot taxis) have addressed. Such problems include problems related to driving fatigue and getting lost, and the inability of humans to see farther ahead; robots have better insights in situations of poor physical visibility.
  • Robot taxis (such as Waymo's) are detecting smaller and other subtle obstacles that are not easily noticed by humans. Through Waymos's robo-taxi, those with driving difficulties like the disabled people, older citizens, as well as children now have an opportunity to "experience the freedom of solo car travel."
  • According to the United States Department of Transportation, about 37,461 people died on United States roads in 2016 due to "human choices" (such as drunken driving, distracted driving, and speeding), get linked to about "94 percent of serious crashes." This study assumes that Waymo overcomes all the above challenges that relate to human decisions, thereby eradicating the portion of the 94% of serious crashes that should have depended on drivers of Waymo robot taxis/autonomous cars if they required one. Waymo robots "dont get drunk," do not get distracted, and do not overspeed, thus, eradicate these risks for travelers.
  • Between July and August 2019, Waymo successfully implemented about 110,500 trips using robots. About 6,100 of the robot-enabled taxi trips took place within the suburbs of Phoenix, while the other trips took place in the San Francisco Bay Area. A majority of passengers/riders have left positive feedback relative to their "experiences riding in Waymo's robot taxis."
  • At least 70% of the 10,500 trips received the highest ratings possible (five stars), while the remaining 30% got a rating of four stars or lower. Some passengers praised the services of the robot taxis for the ability to navigate "tricky traffic situations." Although safety drivers sit in the taxi with their hands on their laps, Waymo has implemented some passengers using 100% "driverless vehicles," with no safety driver across a specific geographic area.
  • Waymo robots/cars offer savings on the cost of hiring several drivers that are bound by laws to operate for limited hours. The number of hours passenger-carrying drivers can remain on the road is limited to "11 hours after 10 consecutive" hours off duty. Robot taxis help companies like Waymo to handle this limitation without hiring more drivers.

Stryker's Surgical Robot

  • Robots are changing medicine by engaging in operations that give better results when compared to human efforts. One field that robots are excelling at is hip and knee replacement. In 2017, Stryker, in partnership with Mako, launched a Triathlon total knee robotic system, which priced at $1 million.
  • Stryker Corp is a Michigan-based company that has a good business by offering orthopedic devices, medical instruments, and supplies. The management of Stryker Corp has ventured into robotics. Recently, Stryker Corp sold 44 surgical robots within a single quarter, about 35 of these units got sold in the United States.
  • Knees and hips account for the largest joints found in the human body known to support the human body weight. As people are aging, they are becoming more obese, and the number of chronic knee problems is increasing. From about 1 million in 2013, the number of knee procedures will reach 1.8 million annually in 2030, and a significant amount of younger patients will be affected.
  • Surgical procedures for hip and knee replacement using Stryker's surgical robot involves a CT scan, as well as patient-specific 3D model. Data gets furnished to the robot through a pre-planned surgery strategy.
  • Cameras are attached to the arms of the surgical robot, and the "Mako system maps the procedures." The robot knows/accurately detects the precise location of the knee bones is at every instance during surgery. The surgical robot performs necessary alignment upon the activation of a trigger, and its cuts are "accurate within one millimeter."
  • Stryker's surgical robot gives surgeons much flexibility when customizing and fitting knee implants and reestablished knee alignment with high precision. The results of surgeries performed by Stryker's robot prove that its procedure is safer and delivers "better outcomes for patients."
  • The total number of surgical procedures handled by surgical robots (with patient better outcomes) through the Mako-Stryker partnership per year has grown to 27,000, representing a 54% year-over-year increase. Second-quarter knee replacements as of 2019 rose by 80%, to about 18,000.
  • Knee surgeries performed by Mako/Stryker robots (at a precision higher than surgical operations obtained through regular procedures) have accounted for over 300,000 hip and knee replacements performed since 2006. An article on robotics in trauma and orthopedics by the Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England reveals the "accuracy of component positioning" in Mako robot-assisted surgeries. Component positioning" in surgical operations performed by Mako robots
  • Regarding surgical femoral component placement and the sagittal position, Mako robots have an accuracy of 57% when compared with traditional surgical procedures with an accuracy of 26%, thereby leading to better patient experience and faster recovery times. Mako robots have an accuracy of 70% in terms of "femoral component coronal position" when compared to 28% accuracy obtained via traditional procedures.
  • Another notable performance of the surgical robot reveals the following statistics femoral component axial position in Mako robots is 53% accurate but has lower accuracy (31%) in traditional surgeries. The tibial component sagittal position gets moved with 80% accuracy in the robotic procedure when compared to 22% accuracy in manual/conventional surgical operations.

Research Strategy

The study has investigated examples of robots that are doing good in the world. The study has researched the challenges that identified robots solve and has included metrics related to their usage. The research identified Stryker's surgical robot and Waymos robot taxi as two examples of robots that are doing good in the world. Axle Addict recently published a study related to Google/Waymo's driverless cars (robot taxis) and similar robot taxis. It reveals that robot taxis offer such as Waymo's transport system offer solutions that are suitable for disabled people, and situations of poor physical visibility. Waymo robots "dont get drunk," do not get distracted, and do not overspeed and eradicate these risks for their passengers. Additional research shows that surgeries performed by Stryker's robots are safer and give "better outcomes for patients." Patients heal faster and have a better experience because Mako (Stryker's) robots position the surgical tools more accurate and inflict fewer injuries (has less collateral damage) when compared to traditional surgeries. The tibial component sagittal position during surgery at any instance has an accuracy of 80% in the Mako robotic procedure when compared to 22% accuracy recorded by conventional surgical operations. Waymo has performed about 16 million kilometers using robots/self-driving cars on public roads without any fatality. It has "received a remarkable authorization" in the United States. However, its accident-free record was recently setback by a single accident. Preliminary investigations reveal that the robocar was not at fault. Waymo robots have proven to be safer than human-driven cars and have never recorded any fatality.
Part
04
of fifteen
Part
04

Robots Doing Good - Part 4

Inuktun's Remote Visual Inspection Vehicles were originally developed to protect the lives of first responders by seeking out survivors of natural disasters in unstable buildings that could not be safely accessed by people, and they are now used to protect workers in dangerous conditions in the same way. Blue River's robots are revolutionizing the agricultural industry by using precision techniques that reduce the use of herbicides by up to 90% and increase the yields of crops in the face of rising food demands and a lack of farm labor. Information regarding these robots is provided below.

Inuktun RVIVs

  • Inuktun mission was to create technology that could perform tasks that people could not safely do by providing products that enable access to dangerous or remote areas. Since the company was purchased in 2019, Inuktun is stated to no longer focus on robots for search and rescue but ones that also the robots are used to protect workers in extreme and dangerous conditions from putting themselves at risk.
  • These capabilities led to the company being acquired by Eddyfi Technologies in 2019 and is slated to be the best part of their offering. They state that the point of the robots is not to replace human workers but to free their time to focus on more valuable tasks and to keep them safe from attempting dangerous jobs.
  • The company is considered the leader in design and manufacturing of Multi-Mission Modular (IM3™) inspection systems including Remote Visual Inspection capabilities for accessing hazardous areas, confined spaces, and underwater applications. The robots are helping "OEMs, asset owners and service companies enhance productivity, save lives and protect the environment".
  • The Inuktun Delta robot, then known as the Variable Geometry Tracked Vehicle was used by for inspections of the World Trade Centers after 911. Four years later the crawlers were used to locate survivors in unstable buildings in Biloxi, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina.
  • The robot not only helped locates survivors but it also protects the lives of first responders and rescuers by entering areas that are not safe to be searched by humans.

2. Blue River See & Spray Robots

  • The See & Spray robot is "an efficient weed-spraying machine" that was recently acquired by John Deere. These robots are helping farmers prevent some of the $43 billion losses that they experience from weeds that are resistant to herbicides. Blue River Technology developed the robots in light of the fact of the extensive use of herbicides and even though the volume of herbicides being used is increasing it is also becoming less efficient.
  • The robots help improve profitability for farmers and reduces pesticide use by 90%. The robot is said to kill plants and weeds so that crops may flourish and protects the environment in the meantime. This innovation is important as it is stated that the world's food production needs to increase by 70% to 100% during a time when there is a shortage of farm labor.
  • The acquisition and planned expansion into unmanned tractors by John Deere is pointed out by some to represent the next new wave in agriculture technology in countries such as India.
  • Blue River's robots already received acknowledgments from "Inc Magazine's 25 Most Disruptive Companies, Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies, CB Insights 100 Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies in the World, and the Top 50 Agricultural Innovations by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers".
  • Blue River's first product, the LettuceBot, already accounted for 10% of lettuce production in the US. It increases yields by targeting weeds and small crops growing too close to others allowing for higher yields. LettuceBot was the first precision smart technology that was capable of identifying and precisely spraying individual plants and automatically thins lettuce fields with a "precision that increases yields and gives farmers a valuable alternative to scarce farm labor".
  • These robots help farmers to de-risk agriculture and provide stability to rural areas, and countries like India have already experienced an increase in yields of 30% per hectacre, reduced pest-related risks, and were able to predict prices three months in advance.



Part
05
of fifteen
Part
05

Robots Doing Good - Part 5

Two more examples of robots that are doing good in the world are Milo, a robot that helps children with autism develop social skills, and hurricane gliders, which help collect data to improve hurricane forecasts. More information regarding both examples is provided below.

Milo

  • In 2011, the company RoboKind started creating "robots that help children with autism develop essential social skills," assisting educators and experts with proven therapy methods. Milo, a facially expressive humanoid robot, was designed for learners with autism.
  • In order to help children understand what the robot is saying, the robot has an LCD touchscreen on its chest that displays icons. Also, several skills and behaviors can be sent to an iPad to test the understanding of the kid.
  • Pam Rollins, an associate professor and speech language pathologist at the University of Texas at Dallas, and Michelle McFarlin, a certified clinical speech language pathologist, helped to create and develop the curriculum that the robot uses.
  • According to research, children with autism can relate to a humanoid robot "because of their mechanical inclinations." Milo engages with students 87% of the time and helps professionals teach students to have appropriate social interactions. Milo, as opposed to humans, is very consistent as it never gets tired or frustrated, which is key when learning through repetition.
  • Milo is being used in many schools throughout the US, like the Spectrum Academy and Green Hills AEA, where it has had a lot of success.

NOAA's Hurricane Gliders

  • An underwater glider is a robot that uses small changes in buoyancy and wings to propel itself. They use a very small amount of energy and are able to measure several ocean parameters, such as temperature and ocean currents, during weeks or months "along thousands of kilometers." They are controlled remotely via satellite and transmit data in real-time.
  • Since 2014, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists have been deploying gliders to monitor ocean conditions on hurricane season. It has partnered with the U.S. Navy, Rutgers University, University of Miami, and University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez to launch these robots in hurricane affected areas.
  • The gliders are capable of building "a profile of ocean temperatures and salinity up to a depth of 3,300 feet." These robots also collect information on chlorophyll concentration, which has an impact on hurricane emergence and growth.
  • In 2017, three gliders dove to 1,600 feet around 4,000 times to collect data directly under or very near hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria. These operations were made to help improve hurricane forecasts. The data collected indicated that "cool ocean temperatures likely had a role to play in the lack of intensification of Harvey and the weakening of Hurricane Jose in the eastern Caribbean and western Atlantic."
  • In July 2019, four ocean gliders were deployed off the coast of Puerto Rico to continue to help improve the accuracy of hurricane forecast models. Other gliders were also deployed in the Atlantic Ocean.
Part
06
of fifteen
Part
06

Reasons Why People Are Scared of Robots - Part 1

Two reasons why people are scared of robots is because they believe that robots will take away their jobs. However, this fear is unfounded as jobs are made up of a multitude of tasks, many of which cannot be easily done by robots. Instead, demographic shifts pose a greater challenge to jobs. In fact, The Stanford Graduate School of Business states that only the elevator operator job that was listed in the 1950 U.S. Census Bureau has been completely eliminated. A second reason why people are scared of robots is that they will kill and wipe out the human race in a Robopocalypse kind of event. However, robots lack emotions, real intentions, and purposes to kill, and will not acquire the same in the near future. Humans are the ones who carry the responsibility for what robots do. Detailed information is below.

Robots Will Steal Jobs

  • One reason as to why people are scared of robots is that they will take their jobs and leave them unemployed.
  • However, according to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, this is an unfounded and vastly overstated fear as demographic shifts pose the greatest challenge for workers. Robots which use automation cannot eliminate jobs as jobs are made up of a multitude of tasks, many of which cannot be easily automated.
  • An example is the job of a gardener which can have robots take over tasks like mowing and watering, but other chores such as pruning rose bushes, getting rid of pests, and raking leaves, are beyond the capabilities of robots and would cost too much to automate, so gardeners are still in demand.
  • According to Diatom Enterprises, there are some jobs that are less likely to be taken over by robots, including jobs that require staff to empathize and provide a personal touch, such as occupational therapists and mental health workers. There is a 0.35% chance of occupational therapist's jobs and a 0.3% chance of mental health and substance abuse social workers' jobs being entirely taken over by robots.
  • The fear is unfounded as automation by robots is known to generally eliminate tiring and repetitive jobs, but cannot remove all tasks as that means removing the job, which is rare. The Stanford Graduate School of Business states that only one job, that of elevator operator, that was listed in the 1950 U.S. Census Bureau has completely been eliminated. However, even though the job was eliminated, receptionists and security guards still carry out the tasks of elevator operators including greeting visitors and showing them to the right office.
  • An example of why robots cannot completely take over many jobs is the experience of Henn na Hotel in Japan that opened with a staff of robots, but had to reduce its 243 robotic workforce by more than half after it failed to reduce the workload for employees or its costs, was annoying, often broke down, and front desk robots could not answer basic questions.
  • Also, statistics show that traditional occupations such as factory work no longer make the list of the 10 most common occupations in the U.S., which include service related jobs such as nurses, retail sales staff, office clerks, and waiters, jobs that cannot be entirely replaced by robots.
  • Instead, demographic shifts, inequality, and fewer opportunities for many in the labor force are the biggest threats to jobs and need to be addressed. There has been a substantial demographic decrease in the supply of labor in some countries.
  • The dependency ratio in countries such as Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, and South Korea will be much higher by 2050 and these countries will be looking to automate jobs. Birth rates in the U.S. are at an all-time low, with the aging baby-boomer generation creating demand for service jobs but leaving fewer workers actively working and contributing to the economy.
  • According to a CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workplace Happiness survey, only 27% of all American workers were worried that robots, new technology, or artificial intelligence would eliminate their jobs within the next five years. The figure rose to 37% of workers aged between 18 and 24.

Robots Will Kill and Exterminate the Human Race

  • A second reason why people are scared of robots is that they will kill and wipe out the human race in an event that some have referred to as Robopocalypse and which is illustrated in movies such as the Terminator series.
  • People fear that since humans have used their intelligence to rule over animals, super-smart robots will do the same to humans. However, according to Popular Science, the idea that robots will exceed human-level intelligence, kill, and exterminate the human race is unfounded as robots are "idiot savants with little ability to leap to problems they were not set up to solve and a brittle mastery of those it was."
  • According to IFL Science, robots currently lack emotions, real intentions, and purposes, and are not going to acquire those abilities in the near future. There have been reports of workers being killed in robotic accidents, but robots do not have the ability to think of and kill people as animals and humans do.
  • This means that robots cannot perform any functions that they have not been programmed to do. Humans are the ones responsible for what robots do and robots should not be used as scapegoats. The responsibility lies with human designers, deployers, and users.
  • Popular Science states that robots becoming a threat to the human race is unlikely as this depends on humans designing an "omniscient and omnipotent robot" and allowing it to control the universe without testing how it works, and that the robot would be so clever to "transmute elements and rewire brains, yet so ­imbecilic that it would wreak havoc based on elementary blunders of misunderstanding."
  • Artificial intelligence and robots are like any other technology that is gradually developed, tested before it is implemented, and continuously improved for efficiency and safety. According to The Conversation, there is still a long way to go before robots can match the fundamental skills that humans have. Compared to humans, robots are said to have clumsy hands, lack tactile sensors for complex manipulation like the human brain and skin, and most can only function in controlled environments.
  • Finally, The Conversation states that robots will not be human-like but will remain sophisticated machines. It is hoped that human reason will prevail so as not to create robots that could harm society. However, even if complex human-like robots are to be built in the future, regulations could be used to prevent misuse.
Part
07
of fifteen
Part
07

Reasons Why People Are Scared of Robots - Part 2

Two additional reasons people are scared of robots are the irrational but somewhat innate human fears of human-like figures as well as the unknown.

Robots Look Like Humans

  • One of the more irrational but innate human fears related to robots is the fear of robots that appear too human.
  • Notably, experiential evidence suggests that people are most afraid of robots that are human-like.
  • In psychological terms, this phobia is defined as automatonophobia, which relates to a fear of any type of figure that appears to closely represent a human.
  • This fear rarely manifests as a full-blown phobia, however it is considered common for individuals to feel hesitant or nervous around human-like figures, in part because human-like robots look human but do not fully behave like humans.
  • While this fear is not completely understood, one prominent explanation for this phenomenon is the Uncanny Valley theory by roboticist Masahiro Mori, which suggests that humanoid robots make people feel uncomfortable because they activate the same "psychological alarms" as a dead or unhealthy person.
  • More recently, scientists have pinpointed the prefrontal cortex and amygdalae as the brain regions that activate upon viewing of humanoid robots.
  • Irrespective of the physiological and/or psychological causes of this phobia, this fear of robots because they appear too human is generally recognized to be inherently irrational and unfounded.
  • Moreover, leaders in robotic research are increasingly finding that the right balance of human form and features may help facilitate the acceptance of robots over time.
  • In particular, such human-like forms or faces can make it easier for people to accept robots, given that such designs create expectations for how a robot will move or react.

The Future with Robots is Unknown

  • Another commonly cited reason that people are scared of robots is that they trigger the more generalized human fear of change and the unknown.
  • Specifically, "most" people are afraid to try new things, because they are afraid of the unknown as well as how it might threaten their well-being.
  • This innate and somewhat irrational human characteristic is, further, reinforced by confirmation bias, wherein people remember information about robots that supports their existing concerns over change and the unknown.
  • Moreover, the speed and reach of communication through current technology has exacerbated such fears of change as they relate to robots, given the prevalence of news snippets about robots and automation.
  • However, the speed and reach of communication can also be the solution to helping address this inherently unfounded fear of robots, to the extent that there is more detailed discussion that shows the benefits of robotics and demystifies robots so they are no longer viewed as a "new unknown thing."
  • While change and the unknown are fundamental aspects of being human, a review of history highlights that what was once new or unknown has generally helped the human race progress, learn and evolve.
  • Ultimately, one of the most obvious and perhaps "best ways" to resolve this unfounded fear of the unknown is to create awareness and understanding through more substantive discussions on the subject.
Part
08
of fifteen
Part
08

Reasons Why People Are Scared of Robots - Part 3

Two additional reasons people are scared of robots include they are not safe, particularly in manufacturing environments, as well as fear of robots making unfair and discriminatory decisions.

Robots Are Not Safe

  • One of the fears related to robots is that robots are unsafe, particularly in environments of manufacturing, where robots do tasks such as heavy lifting.
  • According to Professor Anu-Hanna Anttila, head of research at the Finnish Industrial Union in Helsinki, the health and safety of workers in factories that have adopted industrial robots have improved.
  • According to Forbes, it is safe for robots to work with people in various tasks in farms, hospitals, and supermarkets. This is due to the current progress of artificial intelligence and sensor technology.
  • The collaborative robots currently in use are made of rigid links and joints. The speed of these robots when working close to humans is inhibited to ensure safe interactions with people.
  • Artificial intelligence and robots are like any other technology that is gradually developed, tested before it is implemented, and continuously improved for efficiency and safety.
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2016 the majority of injuries (38.5%) comprised of back injuries. These injuries are due to overexertion or repetitive motion. Warehouse robots could alleviate these injuries because they are designed to lift large objects.
  • NASA and Carnegie Melon came up with a triple-check safety feature that enables robots to shut down automatically before they are in with people or objects.
  • The next generation of "collaborative robots will be made from softer materials, such as rubber, silicon or fabric". These material's properties will make robots safe. According to Helge Wurdemann, a roboticist at University College London, “These types of soft, stiffness-controllable robots are promising to achieve the accuracy and repeatability of current collaborative robots and at the same time ensure safe interaction with humans.”

Robots Can Make Unfair And Discriminatory Decisions

  • Another reason people are scared of robots is that they can make unfair and discriminatory decisions.
  • According to Havard Business Review, artificial intelligence purely learns from humans. Artificial intelligence can eliminate human bias by designing it to meet specifications that are beneficial.
  • The Future of Life Institute and Open AI movements among AI practitioners are putting forth design principles to make AI fair and ethical. One of the key principles is to design AI in a way that it can be audited, and if bias is found, it can be removed.
  • In job hiring, "AI can assess the entire pipeline of candidates rather than forcing time-constrained humans to implement biased processes to shrink the pipeline from the start".
  • The San Francisco District Attorney's office is in the process of using robots "to remove the potential for implicit bias when prosecutors conduct an initial review of a case". This is to help reduce racial discrimination in the justice system of California.
  • According to LinkedIn, 43% of recruiters say AI removes human bias, and 49% have a positive attitude on automating their jobs.



Part
09
of fifteen
Part
09

Reasons Why People Are Scared of Robots - Part 4

Two other reasons that people are scared of robots are the fact that criminals and hackers can easily exploit robots and how difficult it is to understand or predict the actions of robots.

Robots Are Vulnerable To Be Hacked and Misused

  • Although there are many positive applications of robots, they still pose risks of misuse by hackers and criminals due to their dependencies. For instance, drones can be exploited to spy, smuggle drugs, deliver illegal weapons, and fly over restricted places.
  • A study conducted by privacy and military experts, as well as the researchers from Cambridge, Oxford, and Yale universities, reported that they found signals that suggest potential misuse of artificial intelligence by rogue states, criminals, and terrorists. According to the researchers from IOActive, even non-military robots can be hacked and programmed to harm humans.
  • Mark Carney, the governor of Bank of England, warned that the full automation in the financial sector may increase the risk for hackers to manipulate market prices for their benefits
  • To address this issue, experts believe that robots cannot have any vulnerability that may allow them to be hacked, weaponized, or corrupted. Researchers must keep doing experiments to detect weaknesses and holes in their robots to prevent them from being exploited.
  • Experts also advise the robot vendors to apply the Secure Software Development Life Cycle (SSDLC) process from the beginning point of assembling a robot and hide the communication link and software updates to avoid the risk of cyber-attacks. The vendors must also ensure the security of the robot's default configuration and the supply chain of their company before their machines are distributed to the market.

It's Difficult To Understand What Robots Think

  • Military experts and critics are skeptical about giving full control to robots. They are afraid of not being able to predict the critical decisions that these artificially intelligent machines will make.
  • Due to how robots are programmed, they mainly operate as humans' subordinates. However, the rapid growth of artificial intelligence causes robots to generate thoughts and make decisions on their own. Additionally, the moral standard and priority choice of robots might be difficult to predict due to the absence of emotions.
  • Although Pentagon rules do not ban robots to create lethal decisions, the military officials are still discussing how, when, and under what circumstances they will program robots to decide to kill.
  • Paul Selva, the former General of the US Air Force, assured that killer robots do not harm just anybody. The machines will lock on their targets by identifying the signature characteristics and only can be signaled to detonate after they have recognized the targets. Selva also stated that robots may learn from experience by following the same instruction and will only need fewer directions from the authorities.
  • Many researchers have programmed smart robots with certain high-level moral standards and trained them to create critical and ethical decisions based on those rules. For instance, self-driving vehicles will prioritize the safety of humans compared to other objects.
  • For now, robots are not able to replicate humans' emotions. However, they may be provided with advanced artificial emotional intelligence soon in the future that will contribute to their decision-making.
Part
10
of fifteen
Part
10

Reasons Why People Are Scared of Robots - Part 5

People are scared of robots because they fear that mass automation will further increase the growing inequality and because of the fear of reaching a point where they are unable to control their creation.

The Frankenstein Complex

  • The Frankenstein complex is the fear that our civilization will reach a point, in which man will be unable to control their creations.
  • The Frankenstein Complex is one of the factors contributing to fear of AI. It describes the fear of the “mechanical man” and is named for the young scientist, Dr Victor Frankenstein, the protagonist of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein. The character is also associated with the modern Prometheus.
  • Humans tend to fear "anything not human that looks like a human or displays almost human characteristics and fear can grow from incomplete knowledge and our predisposition to associating the almost-human with the bizarre".
  • The fear is unfounded because there is no AI in the story. Frankenstein was brought to life based on biological research.

Robots Will Cause Inequality

  • There is concern that mass automation will enable the rich to get richer, further increasing inequality.
  • It is feared that the use of robots or mass automation will "amplify economic disparities to such an extreme that life will become, quite literally, unlivable for the vast majority".
  • Some say that "it will drive even greater inequality between the “cognitive elite” and the deskilled masses".
  • If the ownership of robots is concentrated in the hands of of the richest 1% and a majority of jobs disappears for the other 99%, it will create major inequality.
  • Robot tax is gradually gaining momentum, as it can be useful in addressing inequality caused by automation. The robot tax can "raise revenue to retrain those displaced workers, or supply them with a basic income".
  • The fear of robots causing inequality is unfounded because there are many other factors that can cause inequality.
  • For instance, Sweden has much lower levels of inequality than the U.K. and three times as many robots as the U.K. "Many other factors feed into the U.K.’s relatively high levels of inequality, such as low investment in education and in research and development, an overreliance on cheap labor, and an erosion of union power".


Part
11
of fifteen
Part
11

Human/Robot Co-existing - Part 1

Two examples of robots and humans co-existing are (1) firefighting robots and (2) recycling-sorting robots.

Examples of Robots & Humans Co-Existing

1. Firefighting Robots

A. Overview

  • Robots are helping to fight fires and are thus creating a safer work environment for firefighters.
  • This example shows how robots are helping, not replacing, humans because the robots are able to (1) go into conditions "that are too dangerous for firefighters," (2) endure conditions that humans cannot, and (3) humans are the ones who remotely control the robots.
  • Firefighting robots move around on wheels and almost function like a giant, ultra-sophisticated remote-control car.
  • These firefighting robots can be especially helpful to firefighters dealing with fires at chemical plants that are extremely hazardous to them.
  • No matter the type of fire these robots help battle, they can either reduce or eliminate the risk of human endangerment by going into risk-laden environments instead of people.

B. Examples: Thermite & Colossus

  • A leading manufacturer of firefighting robots is Howe and Howe Technologies, which makes the highly acclaimed Thermite firefighting robot.
  • The Thermite firefighting robot is able to endure extremely hot temperatures because it "is made from aircraft grade aluminum and steel."
  • The water cannon onboard the Thermite robot is capable of "pump[ing] 2,500 gallons of water per minute." That amount of water is the equivalent of what between six and eight humans would be needed for. However, as mentioned above, these robots aren't replacing humans; they're helping to make firefighting safer for people.
  • This link is to a video showcasing the Thermite's capabilities.
  • Beyond pumping out tremendous volumes of water, firefighting robots are also able to accomplish critical tasks such as recording videos from inside the infernos for their human operators to view in safety and they can even deliver supplies.
  • A firefighting robot that became quite famous is Shark Robotics' Colossus, which played a key role in putting out the fire at the historic Notre Dame Cathedral.
  • The following article title sums up with just how essential the robot was in helping firefighters battle that fire: "A firefighting ROBOT named Colossus helped 400 firefighters battle the Notre Dame blaze from inside." That article states that Colossus "not only helped to stop the fire before it completely razed the structure, but reduced the need for fire fighters to enter the church where they would be in danger from falling debris."
  • A few of the Colossus firefighting robot's incredible capabilities are that it's fire-resistant, able to lift 1,200 pounds (for transporting people who are hurt or equipment), is waterproof, and records HD video whether at night or in the day.

2. Recycling-Sorting Robots

A. Overview

  • Though robots have previously been used on manufacturing plants' assembly lines, the example we discuss herein pertains to "the 'disassembly' of trash piles into their individual parts."
  • Robots have only recently been deployed to help with that disassembly process due to prior difficulty in getting robots to effectively perform those tasks. Specifically, our example involves the sorting of materials at recycling plants, which robots are beginning to play a pivotal role in helping humans achieve.
  • The sorting of recycled materials is critically important because if they aren't sorted correctly, they can (1) become projectiles putting humans in harm's way, (2) "damage expensive equipment or [3] temporarily shut down recycling operations."
  • One way in which this example shows how robots are helping, not replacing, humans is that the sorting of recycled materials is a job that many people don't want to do. With regard to sorting recycled materials, the major trash disposal company, Waste Management, "has difficulty finding workers willing to show up every day, and many quit within hours." As a Waste Management executive stated, "[i]t’s a very hard role to staff, which is why robotics makes sense for that position."
  • Another way in which this example shows how robots are helping, not replacing, humans is that some companies have already explicitly said that these robots won't replace people. For example, a director at Rumpke Waste & Recycling said the following about these robots: "They’re not going to replace people—we will absolutely keep quality control people in our facilities—but they will allow us to process more tons per hour and provide cleaner recyclable products." Waste Management echoed that premise in saying that the robots it's testing out "could eventually join humans in the sorting lines."

B. Example: ZenRobotics

  • ZenRobotics is a top company that manufactures these robots that are capable of sorting recycled materials.
  • ZenRobotics' robots have been used by Plexus Recycling Technologies (among others) and are able "to pick 12 different kinds of materials." What's more, the robots are able to separate the plastics according to their color, size, shape, and polymer.
  • According to Recycling Today, on an hourly basis, the robots from ZenRobotics are able to pick 2,000 objects. That is more than twice as many picks as humans are capable of making each hour (around 800).
  • The largest robot that ZenRobotics makes is the Heavy Picker, which is able to "lift 60-pound objects."
  • NBC News reported that ZenRobotics' recycling robots are in operation in 10 countries outside the U.S. and two locations in the U.S.
  • In 2018, ZenRobotics launched a new trash-sorting robot called Fast Picker. Each minute, that robot is capable of picking around 66 objects.

Research Strategy

To identify two examples of robots and humans co-existing, we conducted wide-ranging searches for articles on this topic. Specifically, we looked for examples of how robots are helping, not replacing, humans. Throughout our research, we specifically looked for and cited to reputable sources. Those sources included NBC News, Scientific American, Business Insider, and Daily Mail, among others. The examples we chose were ones that were backed by facts and figures showing how robots and humans are co-existing (which we included above). Lastly, our research was global in scope.
Part
12
of fifteen
Part
12

Human/Robot Co-existing - Part 2

Some examples of how robots and humans are co-existing are that robots are helping humans to free-up their time by taking over menial work so that humans have more time to focus on higher-value work, and robots are also serving as a type of assistive technology for disabled and elderly individuals.

#1: Freeing-Up Time for More Valuable Work

  • Artificial intelligence is helping humans by automating tasks that people don't want to do (because they are tedious, redundant, time-consuming, etc).
  • While many people fear that robots will steal their jobs due to the increasing adoption of automation, experts in the field of work and the future of work note that automation "creates more opportunities to invest in valuable, high impact work."
  • This valuable work comes in the way of things like interpersonal communication and other soft skills. In a survey, 91% of respondents said that soft-skills are very important when it comes to the future of work and 92% said soft skills are considered more important than hard skills when it comes to recruiting.
  • Over 40% of survey respondents (information workers) said they spend at least 25% of their workweek completing repetitive, manual work, and 60% said they could save up to six hours a week if this work was automated for them. Additionally, 75% said that automation "will free up time for more interesting, valuable assignments."
  • A 2019 article published by the Financial Times reveals data from a U.K. study showing that companies that use automation technology are 33% more human-friendly and have 31% more productive employees.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica notes the following advantages that are commonly associated with automation: "higher production rates and increased productivity, more efficient use of materials, better product quality, improved safety, shorter workweeks for labor, and reduced factory lead times."

#2: Providing Assistance to Disabled or Elderly Individuals

  • Assistive robots can help disabled and elderly individuals in all kinds of ways. For example, researchers are currently working on telepresence robots that can help family members visit the elderly members in their family who are in a geographically different location. They are also working on robots that can help children with anxiety.
  • The assistive robotics market is expected to grow at a whopping 22.3% CAGR between 2019 and 2024. These robots are often helping individuals who have suffered strokes or injuries to their spinal cord. Medical exoskeletons and surgical robots are both being used in this field.
  • Robots can physically assist people who have medical conditions that prevent them from moving parts of their body and are also used in physical rehabilitation capacities.
  • There is an increasing number of disabled and elderly individuals in the world, which is driving the market for assistive robotics.
Part
13
of fifteen
Part
13

Human/Robot Co-existing - Part 3

Two more examples identifying the coexistence of humans and robots are the performance of repetitive tasks in the commercial industry, and law enforcement robots in the security industry. Facts and figures also back each example.

Performance of Repetitive Tasks

  • Across the manufacturing and industrial sectors, robots are impactful in their coexistence with humans in optimizing efficiency in the workplace. The development of cobots, in particular, is rapidly growing in Asia and considerably in Europe and the US as well.
  • However, this development is not to replace humans with robots in the workplace. Since the latter cannot get sick or bored, the advanced sophistication of "modern 'bots' allow them to perform repetitive tasks that can be boring, inefficient, and in some cases, dangerous for humans."
  • While robots take up these repetitive tasks, human workers are allowed to focus more on "value-rich, cognitive-driven activities that result in better work experience for the human worker and a better result for the business." Simply put, robotics support "more of an intelligent blend of machine and human interaction."
  • In a commercial setting like banks, robots can be assigned delegated tasks like "scanning and storing documents or matching signatures, but the customer-facing the work does not go away." This coexistence enables faster processing, and "an evolution in the alignment of people, processes, and technology."
  • This collaborative exercise between man and machine ensures more productivity, as a study determined that "human-cobot partner 'teams' resulted in an 85% reduction of idle time in work tasks." It is expected that this 'new workgroup' will drive efficiency gains and expand more possibilities in the nearest future.
  • When a contract manufacturer company, Fitzgerald Manufacturing Co., was experiencing the local skills gap, it brought in Rethink Robotic's Sawyer.
  • Sawyer is a robot that "takes metal motion control cylinders, short or long, from a pinboard to a honing machine." After completing this part, this valuable cobot cleans, dries, and packages them.
  • This process, undertaken by Sawyer, would get human workers seated at one spot throughout the completion of the task.
  • According to the company's president, "humans would be bored to tears, and no one understands how that creeps into the finished product." With the robot handling the boring parts in the workplace, human workers can focus more on value-rich and cognitive-driven activities.

Law Enforcement Robots (Unmanned Vehicles, Facial Recognition, and AI)

  • In the security industry, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), also known as drones, and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) are designed with facial recognition systems to identify people.
  • Drones and UGVs are human-controlled robots that can move automatically, and aid humans to get to places which are necessarily challenging to reach, helping with security activities such as "surveillance, people search, photogrammetry, and remote sensing."
  • Faces are part of "inherent identities of people, and identifying individuals through their faces is human nature." Identifying a person in a distant location from behind a desk brings about coexistence between humans and robots.
  • In the instance above, the security personnel need not visit the location. But through the UVs, he or she can decipher the identity of the target(s) with an Artificial Intelligence (AI). The deployment of these robotic tools is to aid the decision-making of humans in sensitive situations and save them from dangerous situations.
  • Humans are the ones called upon to make the decision when it comes to using UVs to arrest a situation. The same applies to the use of AI, as the latter is not "capable of handling a task entirely on its own but is used as an aid to human decision-making." The facial recognition systems, for example, "help immigration officers identify suspect travelers."
  • The application of these robotic tools shows how they can coexist with humans and make them more productive, without robbing the latter of control.
  • Police in the US is now using AI to solve crimes, with California being one of the cities that police departments have aided their efficiency by coexisting with this technology. The three-year imbroglio "between the Brennan Center and the NYPD exposed how the police department sought out this kind of AI and used it routinely." The FBI also uses the combination of these robotic tools.
  • In 2016, over 165 police departments bought drones across the US. In 2019, the police in Novato used a robot to deliver an electric vape pen to a suspect for negotiation purposes, instead of sending officers. There are tons of instances here, where robots have helped the police to curb crime, save lives, and protect themselves from harm's way.
  • Companies, like Northrop Grumman Remotec, Recon, and Knightscope, are a few examples of many that sell police robots in the US. Through the Pentagon program known as 1033, these police robots are also gotten from the US military.

Research Strategy

We started our findings by looking for two more examples of where humans and robots have coexisted. To avoid using examples that had been used in previous requests, we did extensive findings across many industries and lifestyles.

After concise research, we found these examples in the commercial and security industries. We were able to determine how humans coexisted with robots in the commercial sector by letting the latter handle the tedious and repetitive aspects of tasks while humans focused more on value-rich and cognitive-driven activities. We also determined how humans coexisted with robots in the security industry by allowing the latter to do all the preparatory tasks, while humans focused on the execution aspect of the tasks. Facts and figures also backed each example.

The summary of the two examples given suggests that the coexistence of humans and robots enables faster processing, and "an evolution in the alignment of people, processes, and technology."


Part
14
of fifteen
Part
14

Human/Robot Co-existing - Part 4

Two more examples of humans and robots coexisting are robots that perform repetitive tasks in the agriculture farm industry and robots that provide housekeeping assistance. Below is an overview of the findings.

Performance of Repetitive Tasks in the Agriculture Farm Industry

  • In the current agricultural farm industry, robots are impactful in their coexistence with humans as they optimize the process of picking and gathering fruits, harvesting crops, and stripping weeds. With a global population estimated to increase from 7.7 billion to 9.7 billion in about 30 years, farmers are pressured to use robots to optimize the yield from the best agricultural practices.
  • However, this development will not replace the human workforce on farms with robots. Humans have no interest in performing the repetitive and often tricky tasks that robots can perform.
  • While robots take up these repetitive tasks, the human workforce on the farms control and coordinate the robots. This improves the overall efficiency and yield of the farms.
  • The owner of berry distributor Wish Farms, Gary Wishnatzki, told the New Yorker that the drive to automate is not aimed at reducing farm jobs but centers around meeting consumer demands. Also, he complained of the lack of human labor to do these difficult tasks that robots can easily perform.
  • Crop-harvesting robots, weeding robots, robotic greenhouses, aerial imagery drones, and seed-planting drones are among the variety of robot types that are currently employed on farms to improve the quantity and quality of farms yields.
  • Crop-harvesting robots are employed in the harvest of fruits, crops, and vegetables. Brands providing this type of robot include the Harvest CROO, Cambridge University's Lettuce Harvesting Robots, and the Abundant Robotics' Apple-sucking Vacuum Robot, among others.
  • Weeding robots perform the burdensome task of stripping the weeds on the farm. Brands providing this type of robot include Naio Technologies' Ted (the robotic weedkiller).
  • Iron X is the world's first autonomous greenhouse with 8,000 square feet of space and two cloud-connected robots which monitor the health of all greens grown in large hydroponic pods. One robot has sensors and computer vision which function as eyes and does the heavy lifting by moving pods through the facility. The other robot analyzes and selects individual plants.
  • Aerial imagery drones offer aerial imagery that enables farmers to sense weed growth, irrigation plans, insect issues, and the health of plants. It even enables them to determine exactly how much pesticide they need.

Providing Housekeeping Assistance

  • Assistive robots can assist the housekeeper in performing repetitive and tricky domestic tasks. For example, Laundroid and the University of California recently designed the software for a robot that folds the laundry. The hardware was designed by Rethink Robotics.
  • Also, in 2018, Peanut Robotics designed a robot that could perform supplemental housekeeping work alongside a human housekeeper. The robot can perform tasks such as collecting linens and cleaning toilets, thereby allowing housekeepers to concentrate on other facets of their job.
  • The robotic household market is projected to grow by 11.1 million units between 2019 and 2021. The robotic household market consists of robots that assist the housekeeper in doing various household chores.
  • The robots will perform necessary but repetitive household tasks that humans consider to be boring and unpleasant.
  • Household robots need to adapt to "the skill level of the person they are assisting."
  • Siddharth Srivastava, a scientist at Berkeley who assisted in designing the "Laundroid" robot says: "An autonomous assistant that works well in this setting would have to be versatile, robust to changes in the environment, and easy to work with."

Research Strategy

To identify two examples of robots and humans co-existing, we conducted wide-ranging searches for articles on this topic on trusted media sites (such as BBC News, Buihin, UK RAS Network, and RBR, among others). Specifically, we looked for examples of how robots are helping, not replacing, humans. The examples we chose were ones that were backed by facts and figures showing how robots and humans are co-existing.
Part
15
of fifteen
Part
15

Human/Robot Co-existing - Part 5

Two additional examples of robots and humans co-existing are surgical assistance robots, used by doctors across the world, and robots used for oceanic research. More information regarding each example is provided below.

Surgical Assistance

  • Medical robots are being developed as a result of the need of doctors to improve outcomes, reduce costs, and reduce stress load. Some applications of robots in medicine include needle insertion, colonoscopy, bone surgery, and others.
  • Robotically-assisted surgical (RAS) systems help doctors perform fewer and smaller incisions, lowering the chances of blood loss and infections, while providing less pain and complications for patients. These robots also improve outcomes for patients as they result in less damage to the tissue making recovery quicker and less painful.
  • The first medical robotic application emerged in 1985, when a robotic surgical arm assisted in a neurosurgical biopsy surgery. In the year 2000, the 'da Vinci' surgery system appeared (the first FDA-approved system), "giving surgeons the ability to control surgical instruments indirectly via a console." The technique is used in hospitals in the United States and Europe to treat many conditions.
  • AOT AG's CARLO (Cold Ablation Robot-guided Laser Osteotome) is a robot arm that performs laser bone ablation by providing advanced navigation and control software. It helps surgeons perform bone operations with high precision, which cannot be done with conventional instruments.
  • Another example is Mako, a robotic assistant used internationally in "total hip, total knee, and partial knee replacement surgeries." The robot has helped in over 300,000 operations and more than 1,000 surgeons use it.

Oceanic Research

  • Because of increasing factors threatening the oceans, scientists are looking for information about sea inhabitants in order to formulate ideas for conservation and biodiversity management. Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) are robots used by scientists to collect this data from the ocean.
  • These robots can be programmed to go to remote, dangerous, and/or unexplored parts of the ocean to measure characteristics such as salinity, temperature, and speed and direction of currents, among others.
  • Autonomous vehicles are important for analyzing areas of the ocean deeper than 60 meters, where divers cannot reach. Also, since microbes move with ocean swirls and currents, scientists have the challenge to observe organisms as they move, and using ships makes it more challenging and limited.
  • For example, UK's Autosub6000, deployed in May 2016, can collect over "150,000 images in a single dive from around 1200 meters beneath the ocean surface."
  • Another example is the Environmental Sample Processor (ESP), which was launched in 2006. It can gather DNA samples and record water temperatures from the ocean. Currently, there are over 20 ESP robots used across the world. According to scientists, these robots are helpful for monitoring microbes in areas where it is difficult to make research expeditions.


Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Mulligan quickly emphasizes that EMILY does not replace lifeguards, but rather helps keep them safe. An EMILY equipped with a float can cut through high surf more quickly than a lifeguard on a board, jet ski or rubber boat, reaching a struggling swimmer. The lifeguard can pull the swimmer back in with a rope or go to them in a safer, more deliberate fashion."
Quotes
  • "Co-developed by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, the Navy's Small Business Innovation Research and Hydronalix, EMILY can cruise along at speeds of up to 22 mph thanks to its 22-volt battery powered engine. Additionally, the craft can carry up to five people and features a Kevlar-reinforced hull that helps it withstand massive waves and other types of impact."
Quotes
  • "EMILY’s roots stretch back to 2001, when Tony Mulligan, the founder of drone manufacturer Advanced Ceramics Research, received ONR and SBIR-STTR funding to develop a computer-operated and sensor-enabled UAV to monitor whale movements during Navy sonar testing. In 2003, after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq erupted, Mulligan improved and transformed his vehicles into the Silver Fox UAVs, which helped U.S. troops conduct aerial surveillance and reconnaissance missions. "
Quotes
  • "Not only is our SureStrike 360 technology shown to work in a lab setting, but we are making a real difference in hundreds of hospitals across the globe. XENEX is the only UV disinfection company with multiple peer reviewed and published outcome studies."
Quotes
  • "Our advanced SureStrike 360™ technology is just a part of what sets us apart. Supported by a team of Infection Rate Reduction Specialists,​ we deliver comprehensive infection rate reduction programs, including analysis, training and execution, and ongoing measurement and reporting for optimal HAI rate reduction results."
Quotes
  • "Hunterdon Medical Center implemented two Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) – infections that patients acquire while receiving treatment in a hospital. The infections are caused by microorganisms such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and C.diff. Invisible to the naked eye, some microorganisms can live on hospital bedrails, tray tables, wheel chairs and doorknobs for up to 5 months -- posing a risk to patients and hospital employees."
From Part 03
From Part 06
Quotes
  • "The hotel, which is located in Nagasaki, will reduce its 243-robotic workforce by more than half and return to more traditional human-provided services for guests, though it will maintain a number of robots in areas where it found them to be effective and efficient."
Quotes
  • "The robots aren’t coming for your job. Experts say fears that rapid advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation will leave all of us unemployed are vastly overstated."
Quotes
  • "Only a little over one-quarter (27%) of all workers say they are worried that the job they have now will be eliminated within the next five years as a result of new technology, robots or artificial intelligence."
Quotes
  • " Jobs that require a personal touch and the ability to empathize, like mental health workers, have the lowest chance of being affected by automation."
Quotes
  • "Several technology commentators have speculated about a danger that we will be subjugated, intentionally or accidentally, by artificial intelligence (AI), a disaster sometimes called the Robopocalypse and commonly illustrated with stills from the Terminator movies. "
Quotes
  • "This is because there is still a long way to go before robots will be able to match a number of fundamental human skills."
Quotes
  • " The fact is, robots, despite what one might be encouraged to believe from sci-fi, and despite what may happen in the far future, currently lack what we consider real intentions, emotions and purposes. And contrary to recent alarmist claims, nor are they going to acquire those capacities in the near future."
From Part 13
Quotes
  • "modern 'bots' allow them to perform repetitive tasks that can be boring, inefficient, and in some cases, dangerous for humans."
  • "value-rich, cognitive-driven activities that result in a better work experience for the human worker and a better result for the business."
  • "human-cobot partner 'teams' resulted in an 85% reduction of idle time in work tasks."
Quotes
  • "more of an intelligent blend of machine and human interaction"
  • "scanning and storing documents or matching signatures, but the customer-facing work does not go away."
  • "an evolution in the alignment of people, processes, and technology."
Quotes
  • "capable of handling a task entirely on its own but is used as an aid to human decision-making."
  • "help immigration officers identify suspect travellers."
Quotes
  • "takes metal motion control cylinders, short or long, from a pinboard to a honing machine. When the parts are done, it washes, dries and packages them."
Quotes
  • "surveillance, people search, and remote monitoring."
  • "inherent identities of people, and identifying individuals through their faces is human nature."
Quotes
  • "between the Brennan Center and the NYPD exposed how the Police department sought out this kind of AI and used it routinely"