Way back in 1942 prolific sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov introduced the three laws of robotics: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws. It’s unlikely that these laws will govern robotics any time soon, especially when you consider the fact that Asimov was writing about the type of robots that would be able to mimic the behaviour of its human masters.
Pop cultural views of robots would have one picturing something straight out of Star Wars, and while humanoid robotics are being developed, what’s helping us as a species right now is quite different to what we might have envisioned. Current robot technology is a lot more about practicality and its employment within the workspace and within the confines of improving life. Artificial Intelligence, a branch of robotics, has its champions and its dissenters. For instance, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is all for the development of A.I. while Tesla’s Elon Musk has been more measured and cautious in his approach to the matter. What cannot be disputed is the fact that robotics and A.I. are moving forward and whether out of sheer interest or monetary gain, it’s important to keep an eye on the companies making major inroads in this industry.
As is indicative of the name, Vicarious Surgical specialises in assisting doctors in performing surgery deemed safer and more affordable. Through a combination of robotic limbs and virtual reality, doctors are able to perform operations from far away. The practical implications of such technology has caught the attention of investors like Bill Gates and Yahoo’s Jerry Yang and while the development is ongoing, when it does go to market, it will be a prime candidate for investment. In fact, there are already many similar options to explore for CFD when trading with robotics and tech shares.
Retail inventory or stock takes if you will, there’s nothing exciting about such endeavours, but they are essential tasks of most businesses. Enter Simbe Robotics whose Tally bots take on such tedious tasks whereby freeing up time for workers to concentrate on more important things. These bots have already roamed thousands of miles of aisle space and while there were only 50 out in the field back in 2019, predictions are set for 25 000 to be on the job come 2024.
Names in this industry are always applicable to the type of work these companies set out to do. In the case of Roam Robotics, it’s about bringing mobile relief to those who are impaired. Through the use of low-cost, lightweight exoskeleton limbs or wearable robotics, Roam looks to offer an alternative to invasive surgery to those afflicted by knee osteoarthritis. In addition to this, the company is also focusing on knee and ankle exoskeleton technology for military applications.
As a species we can no longer overlook the toll the environment is taking thanks to our actions. AMP Robotics has come up with a machine capable of sorting through and discerning junk for the purposes of recycling. In order to design a robot that could expedite a job of such complexity and practical applications, AMP used machine-learning algorithms consisting of millions of images. The end result is a machine that can go into a landfill and tell the difference between a can of Pepsi and a can of Coke.