Are robots getting ready to take over the world? Not just yet, but there is a robot revolution taking place—and it’s happening in offices, hospitals, and campuses near you. Over the last few years, robot technology has been advancing rapidly and the potential uses for these machines is growing just as quickly. Business leaders are excited about the potential of robots in different industries and are starting to invest in robotic programs. Robots are already being used as teaching tools, assistants, companions, and workers, and this is just the beginning of the robot revolution.
Robotics Training for K-12 Learners
Companies in the education technology (edtech) space have a lot to look forward to. Classrooms are starting to get high-tech, with robots acting as teaching tools for K-12 learners. Technology is booming in the education sector, with experts forecasting that the edtech market will become a $93.76 billion industry by 2020. Learning personalization, VR, and robotics are just a few of the powerful technologies that will power smart classrooms of the future.
Robots in the classroom are beginning to fulfill an important role for students—teaching them the basics of important STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills that the current job market demands. Teaching robots help even very young students learn the principles of coding, robotics, and engineering. These are not only practical skills for the 21st century, they also help all students learn how to solve problems and think logically. This will be a boon to employers in the very near future, as students enter the workforce.
Robotics and Higher Learning
It’s not just kindergartners who are starting to encounter robotics and other edtech at school. Because the market is expanding, students at the college level will increasingly find themselves working with robots—either within a robotics program or just through interacting with these machines as they invade their campuses. Learning robot technology will be necessary for future careers and business!
Of course, some students will want to learn how to engineer, build and code robots, but others just want a snack! At the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA, students won’t have to wait for a delivery driver to bring them snacks and drinks—they can have them delivered via Snackbot. A wheeled robot equipped with a cooler, a camera, and headlights, the Snackbots make their way all over the school regardless of weather. It may be a novelty now, but look for more robots on college campuses in the near future. Even offices might want to jump on this particular trend, as more offices offer snacks and meals to employees. Regardless, we can expect to see a rise in robots and new companies and businesses developing robots and utilizing them in a variety of ways.
The Robotic Revolution in Business
While the Snackbots might be attracting attention, ed-tech isn’t the only field that is positioned to benefit from the expansion of robotics technology. In healthcare, experts forecast that robotics in the industry will contribute $2.8 billion to the economy by 2020.
Nursing robots are helping to take the burden off of healthcare workers by automating some tasks and taking over dirty, dangerous and repetitive tasks like sterilization and medication dispensing. From surgical robots to robotic exoskeletons, the number of applications for robotics in the healthcare field is incredible. By using robots, healthcare organizations can cut down on costs, streamline their processes, and improve patient outcomes overall by providing superior care.
Robots aren’t replacing doctors in 2019, but robotic nurses are already helping to address the shortfall of healthcare workers in countries like Japan and Thailand. Since many countries, including the United States, are seeing increases in the average age of their populations, hospitals are poised to become busier and busier in the coming years. Healthcare workers will need all the assistance they can get—which includes the help of robots.
The Future of Robotics
So what can we expect in 2019 and beyond? Look out for some new tech trends this year as we try to outsource new tasks to robots. Although technology has made huge advances, people are more overworked and have more choices than ever. For that reason, we will probably see everything from robot pets to food robots and sex robots becoming more advanced and popular as people try to outsource and manage their lives.
Robots have always been intended to help us with tasks and make our lives easier. We have only scratched the surface so far with what they can do. With smartphone sales waning, the robotics revolution might be the next big thing. And who knows? In a few years, having a robot butler or an office snackbot could be as common as having a smartphone is today.