This assessment task will assess your skills in critical thinking, researching information, forming an opinion, academic writing, logical ordering of ideas.
Analyse the assessment task, research relevant information and evaluate the information you find.
Students are required to write a report.The report is to be based on the following case study scenario about the use of Robotics.
Case study scenario
The term Robotics refers to the design, development and use of robots which are automated machines that can accomplish a range of tasks in a variety of scenarios. Robots were first commercialised when they were integrated into factory assembly lines in order to streamline and improve manufacturing productivity. The first popular application of robotics was in the car industry. In the 21st Century, robots have increasingly been used to complete tasks that may be unsafe or tedious for humans this has led to the integration of robots into the mining and transportation industries and the military. The use of robots is expected to double by the year 2020. This will impact on how businesses operate and the economies of countries across the world (New Media Consortium, 2016).
Increasingly robots are also being used in the home. One of the most popular applications is that of the robot vacuum cleaner. Other robots that are increasing in popularity are gutter cleaners and lawn mowers.
There is significant interest in how work environments will be affected by the growing dependence on robots and on how to ensure that they are autonomous, safe, and economical. In Queensland the State Government has introduced a program into State Schools that is designed to teach students coding and robotics from an early age. Referred to as #codingcounts this action plan for education in Queensland is designed to prepare students for jobs of the future (Queensland Government, 2016).
It is argued that outreach programs such as #codingcounts can make students better problem solvers through promoting robotics and programming. It is also felt that interaction with humanoid robots may help learners with learning disabilities to develop better communication strategies and social skills.
Whilst robots can make some work environments safer there are also potential problems. Is it ethically and morally responsible to manufacture robot workers that have the potential to take jobs from human workers? What happens when a robot hurts or injures a human or destroys property? Who is responsible, the manufacturer of the robot, the programmer who wrote the code to operate the robot, or the person who bought it and set it to work? There are also potential security problems. How can you prevent a robot being hacked and having someone take over control of the robot to commit a crime?
You are the ICT Manager of a small Artificial Intelligence company based in Brisbane. Your organisation has interests in the use of robotics for domestic use and in mining, transport and manufacturing industries across Australia. The organisation is already using robotics as a small but growing sideline business. But the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) would like to investigate how to make it a key enabler to achieve competitive advantage against your company’s rivals. Your organisation is now considering further diversification over the next five years, leveraging ICT as a core competency. Its plans include expanding the organisation’s operations within Australia and into the Asian region. The CEO of your organisation is interested in how to leverage the use of robotics as one of the key technologies to be considered as a part of this expansion strategy. However, she is aware of both positive and negative aspects of using robotics in the work and home environments.
The CEO has asked you to research robotic technology and its applications to be considered for the organisation’s five year strategic plan. She wants you to write a report that outlines your findings and make some recommendations on how to leverage the use of robotics to improve your business. It will be presented to the next executive management meeting for consideration.
The report should address the following tasks:
- Definition/s of robotic technology and the current use of robots. This investigation must consider different types of robots used in various industries and in different parts of the world. As a minimum, consider the industries currently in your organisation’s business scope and the industries the organisation is considering to enter in the next five years when it plans to expand across Australian and into Asia (see case scenario). Your report must identify actual examples and should not just focus on generic uses of robotic technology.
- Based on the findings from the previous section, propose how robotic technology could be incorporated into your organisation’s operations in the future. Discuss both short term and long term options from both industry and geographical perspectives to implement the strategy in your organisation.
As a part of this analysis, consider the potential advantages and disadvantages of using robotic including various risks for the organisation and with respect to robotic technologies. As the ICT Manager of your organisation, you should focus on security and technology aspects as a priority, and propose potential solutions to overcome any disadvantages/risks identified in your analysis. Additionally, explore the ethical, social and legal considerations that your organisation should consider as a part of the proposed strategy, and discuss some solutions to overcome these issues.
Your analysis and proposed solutions in task 2 should lead to some recommendations at the end of your report. Make sure that the specific recommendations at the end of your report have been evaluated as a part of your report discussion.
The report should be at a strategic level and must not consist of highly technical details as most of your readers are not from an information technology background.