Robots are Better than Humans
Arriving at work, shake hands with the robot – the battery of the automated colleague is charged in the morning, and he is ready for the next task. This is unlikely to become reality. Rather, the human will control the robot, forcing it to shake hands with someone else.
“Lately, there has been a kind of symbiosis between man and machine,” says Patrick Schwarzkopf, who leads the robotics and automation business at the German Mechanical and Industrial Machinery Association (VDMA).
So, wearing a special glove, a person can use the robot for remote work in dangerous situations: for example, with high radioactivity or for demining. In these cases, remotely controlled robots need to be specially fenced off or at least be at a great distance from them. In other areas of application, the boundaries, on the contrary, are erased.
In recent decades, industrial robots have been actively used on conveyors in modern factories. They weld on, screw on, perform assembly work. Initially, they were also fenced off to prevent injury to people in the area of ??operation of the machines. Now, thanks to the more accurate and intelligent operation of machines, such barriers are used less and less.
“A robot frees a person from work that is too hard for him. People stay in business and focus on what they can do better than machines – for example, on creative tasks. As a result, teams of people and robots appear that did not exist in this form before. “, says Falk Senger, Managing Director of the Messe München exhibition center in Munich. Production robots and digital devices will be on display at automatica, which will take place there from June 19th to 22nd.
The demand for robots in the automotive industry is growing
Robotic exoskeletons (devices for replenishing lost functions, increasing human muscle strength and expanding the range of motion due to the external frame and adducting parts. – Ed.) Are used in areas where a person works to the limit of his physical capabilities. They provide external support and technical assistance and, thanks to their mechanics, can support and relieve workers.
The need for robots and automated processes in factories is also growing. In 2017, German machine builders specializing in such equipment achieved a record turnover. Things are not worse this year: turnover in the field of robotics and automation is expected to grow by nine percent to almost 16 billion euros. “Germany has the highest degree of automation in Europe and the number of robots is increasing,” says Patrick Schwarzkopf.
China ranks first in the world in terms of growth in this industry – last year its exports grew by 60 percent at once. At the same time, most of the machines and devices produced there remain in the country and contribute to the re-equipment of companies and factory workshops for Industry 4.0.
But the boom in Germany may still last, at least in mechanical engineering. So, VDMA expects growth in demand for robotics in the auto industry. This is due to the fact that car manufacturers are shifting to alternative technologies. New equipment is needed to manufacture components for electric motors, hybrid motors or batteries.
Europeans are afraid of losing their jobs due to robots
True, there are still many prejudices against new technologies in Europe, primarily on the part of hired workers. On the one hand, two-thirds of them believe that new technologies offer a chance to become a qualified specialist. On the other hand, only half believe that the “invasion” of robots will lead to the emergence of new well-paid jobs. This was shown by a survey commissioned by Messe München.
“Of course, people have fears that many of them will lose their jobs as a result of automation,” says Falk Senger. He sees his task as communicating to the population the positive prospects for Industry 4.0. By the way, in the United States and China, innovations are not as skeptical as in Europe. Most of the population in these countries is confident that robotics, digitalization and automation will lead to jobs that require higher qualifications and well-paid jobs.
Researchers estimate that robots will become 65% cheaper by 2025. One industrial robot will cost less than $ 11,000 apiece. This will be due to the fact that the materials needed for robots will become cheaper.
Now a used industrial robot costs $ 25,000. If they replace a factory employee who is paid $ 12.5 an hour, the robot will pay off in a year.
Work without human control
In 2016, the Japanese company Fanuc, together with Preferred Networks, introduced artificial intelligence into its robots. The idea was to get eight robots to perform the same task with maximum precision and learn from each other.
“After eight hours of self-learning, Fanuc’s smart robot successfully accomplishes over 90% of its tasks. A robot controlled by a programmer works with the same precision. “
Also, the German company KUKA has launched a collaborative robot LBR iiwa. Such machines can work hand in hand with humans. The control of the LBR iiwa is based on artificial intelligence, and the robot itself is equipped with supersensitive sensors. He feels where the person is and what he is doing. Therefore, working together with a person, the robot cannot harm him, but, on the contrary, helps.
According to forecasts by the McKinsey Global Institute, robots can take 30% of jobs from people by 2030. For example, call center employees, loan officers, cashiers, paralegals, taxi drivers and chefs in a fast food restaurant.
So in 2010, a robot that recognizes a voice was introduced into the Aeroflot call center. He looked for tickets for the date of interest, found out where the client was going, and asked what time it was more convenient for him to fly. After that, the robot passed the call to the operator. Due to this, the company has almost tripled the call flow.
Although robots can automate some professions, they will create new jobs. According to researchers, their number should have amounted to 32% of all professions by 2017. Engineers who control robots are considered especially in demand.