Growing the enterprise’s reach — and responsibility
Companies have already realized the benefits of robotics in controlled spaces, from lower production costs to higher productivity and increased capacity for analytics. Now, businesses are looking at the next frontier for robot technology: the open world.
Advances in sensors, speech recognition and computer vision are combining with lower hardware costs to make robot technology more accessible for companies in every industry, and the rollout of 5G networks is set to unlock new opportunities outside of controlled environments. But finding the right way to introduce robots into the world includes challenges around talent, questions of human-computer interaction and a testbed that consists of the entire world.
Across 21 industries surveyed, 61% of executives expect their organizations will use robotics in uncontrolled environments within the next two years.“
For instance, not every company will be able to find the talent they need as demand for robotics technicians and data scientists grows. Finding the right expertise will require a strategic combination of hiring and upskilling efforts.
Taking robotics out into the open world will also force companies to consider how the public is affected by their products and services. It’s important that businesses work with local leadership to ensure a safe and welcome convergence between robots and society.
48% of consumers surveyed believe robots are poised to make their lives easier. However, 39% state they are concerned robots will introduce more problems than they fix.“
Finally, a massive robotic migration will demand a combined approach to development and testing. Experimentation will be key as the technology is introduced to city streets, university campuses, construction sites, and other uncontrolled environments. It will also require a commitment to continued data collection and refinement after the devices have been deployed.
However, if the past has shown us anything, the benefits will far outweigh the investment. Businesses with experience in robotics may start out with an advantage, but the opportunity is ripe for companies in every industry to extend their reach out into the open world.