Robots To Help With Your Job

Robots To Help With Your Job

The UNSW Creative Robotics Lab and Fuji Xerox Research Technology Group have said they are not interested in making robots to replace humans. For the last three years they have been working on a project to develop robots that will work along employees, making their jobs easier. They are developing a social robot to promote workplace creativity, collaboration and improve the employee experience in the workplace. They have said “ Our main aim is to make a companion for humans – we want to create a heartful robot”

The developers expect the new social robot to interact with employees and that it will carry out administrative and organisational jobs, leaving employees to be more creative. At the same time, they do not want workers to be disturbed by the robots presence, but want them to look on it as a helper in the workplace.

To date, the tests have been at UNSW, but in the next phase the robot will be placed in real work situation scenarios. Its first placement will be in the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, followed by a trial at the Fuji Xerox offices. The data from both places will then be collated to aid further development. 

Will a Robot Replace You?

Robotics in use in a factory

You will see scary headlines about robots taking all the jobs and leaving nothing for humans to do. But there is one thing you have to remember, humans make robots and they only have the capabilities the engineers give them. So yes some jobs may disappear as robotics take over some of the mundane tasks, but not to the extent where everyone is out of work. There is also the thinking that new jobs will be created, possibly ones that have not even been considered till now.

It can be likened to history when previous innovations were introduced. The car was going to put people out of work but instead created many thousands of jobs. The jobs were not just in the car industry either. Combustion engines are used in all manner of different areas from factories to aeroplanes, and someone had to manufacture and maintain them.

Just a few years ago you could not have imagined telling someone that your job was manufacturing the limbs of robots for instance, or that you are a robot engineer. That is just two of the jobs likely to evolve from robotics, there are many more.

Have UNSW And FXRTG Got It Right?

There are many people who like the idea of robots assisting rather than taking the job altogether. People realise robots are not going away, so you might as well utilise them wherever you can. The first country to really embrace this idea is Japan, who is greatly expanding their robotic industry into all areas of life including education and healthcare. For them it is a solution to their ageing population. As Tokyo alone has twice as many job vacancies as job applicants, this is a huge problem for them and they see robot helpers as the answer.

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