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Introduction to Robotics

Question:

Discuss about the Limits of Participatory Technology Development.

In the fast-paced competitive as well as dynamic world, the need for speed is very crucial. The businesses want to increase on their productivity with less resources, more cost savings and the improvement in the accuracy, in order to provide the ultimate experience (Ahson & Ilyas, 2008). The customers increasingly expect on the demand serviced with an instant response as well as service.  Many of such limitations to meeting on the immediate, round the clock customer expectations are all related to the people centric delivery of the service.  As such, there has been a surge of interest to what we regard to as the robotics, which have been in existence in order to address on these challenges (Awazu, Baloh, Desouza, Wecht, Kim, Jha, 2009). It is important first to know what robotics is. Robotics generally refers to the design, the development and the use of the robots, which are the automated machines, which can accomplish a wide range of tasks in various scenario. The robots came first to be commercialized when they were initially integrated into the factory assembly lines to help in the streamlining as well as the improvement of the manufacturing productivity (Compagna & Kohlbacher, 2015). The first application of the robotics was done in the car industry. Moreover, in the twenty first century the robots have increasingly been used to complete jobs, which could be regarded unsafe for the humans especially they have been integrated in the mining, military as well as the transportation industries. Based on the current research the number of the usage of these robots is expected to double by the time we reach 2020 (Compagna & Kohlbacher, 2015). I believe this will impact on the business operation as well as the economies of the countries across the globe.

As an ICT manager in a small Artificial Intelligence company which is based in Brisbane I have been tasked with the job of undertaking on this research about the robotic technology and the applications if it would be considered by the organization as a five year strategy plan.  This will enable the company to expand and compete better with the current competitors we have in the market. The research objective for the research is aimed to find results on how to leverage the use of the robotics in order to improve on the business in the Artificial intelligence Company. There are various assumptions that are made in the research such as the following: it is assumed the executive management team would likely consider the aspect of the research (Fasoli, Krebs & Hogan, 2004). It is also assumed that the other competitors do not have diversity of the use of the robotics in their business. It is assumed the artificial intelligent am working for has the upper hand in the use of the technology. It is also assumed that this organization for the report is fictional organization which aim is to provide an insight on the research on the robotic technology.

Applications of Robotics

 The robotic technology looks into how a robot is programmed in order to perform task as well as interact with the environment, without aid from any human interactions. The robotics is essentially the science as well as the technology, which is behind the design, manufacturing and the application of the robots. The use of these technologies, which are used in the development of the machines, could be a substitute for the humans (Cascio & Montealegre, 2016). The robots could be used in any situation as well as any purpose, but currently these are more used in the dangerous environment such as in the manufacturing, mining and the military industry such as detection of the bomb (Melfi, Menconi, Mariani & Angeletti, 2002). The robots can take any form but some they have been made to resemble the appearance of the humans. This has been done so in order to help in the acceptance of the robot to certain replicative behavior, which are performed by individuals. The robot could replicate things like walking, lifting, speech, cognition and all the other aspect, which the human can undertake.  Many robots, which are developed today, are inspired by the nature and the contribution from the field of the bio-inspired robotics.

The robots presently are able to perform a number of various tasks as comparison to the past use of the robots. The advancement in the technology has helped the present robots to expand beyond the horizons (Fasoli, Krebs & Hogan, 2004). The use of the robotics have been used for both the domestic and use and the mining, transport and the manufacturing industries. They have been a great asset since they can perform jobs, which are too dangerous for the humans (Cascio & Montealegre, 2016). This has enabled the workers to be able to move to the more skilled jobs as the programming of the robots.  The robots have found career in the medical field especially when they are used to assist in the precision of high surgeries such as the brain as well as the heart surgery. Based on the research it has shown that the use of the robot it is expected to surpass on the industrial robot market. Many manufactures have started to look in to these fields since there is lack of the workers.

The robotics is a highly advanced technology, which is aimed at developing robots for various application. Various robots have been invented and being used in the various industry such as the following categories.

Industrial robots: this type of robots are electronically controlled, and they are both programmable as well as reprogrammable in order to undertake various tasks with high precision as well as accuracy. These robots could be used in the advanced manufacturing facilities or perhaps a volume assembly line for a long period. They are usually very efficient and they can produce high yield or output. In the ICT, company that are working these kind of robots could be used for the businesses process in order to improve on the output.  The robot are capable of carrying task that are difficult as well as hazardous for the human beings. The robot usually use perfected copy of the exact strategy for the purpose of troubleshooting purposes, issues as well as solutions could be solved and implemented much quicker.

Industrial Robots

Domestic or the household robots: these types of robots are used at home. They may include different devices such as the robotic vacuum cleaners, sweepers, gutter cleaners and the pool cleaners. Based on the case scenario the organization is also using the domestic robotics only for a small part of the business.  

Military robots: The robots in this group are used in the military. These types include such as the bomb disposal robots, different transportation robots, reconnaissance drones (Breazeal, 2003). These robots are created for the purpose of the military, they can also be used in the law enforcement, used for the search, and rescue as well as other related fields.

The artificial intelligence company am working at has been solution to many technological problems in many industries. The scope of our business is focused on providing robotics solutions especially in the mining, transportation and the manufacturing within Australia and Asia regions. These countries are developing and providing the solution to their industries would help our company to grow significantly. We intend to focus on the industrial robots since they can be implemented in these industries. With the diversification on the use of the industrial robots in the organization, we could be able to offer solution to these industries in these regions, which we intend to venture in the next five years.

The robotic technology can change on the way the organization could manage on their operations (Breazeal, 2003). In the organization which is in the case study scenario it could incorporate on this technology in any operational activity where there is manual work which involving the use of the computers system. The robotic automation process has evolved from the various technologies, which have been used in the application testing as well as workflow automation. The company utilizing on the RPA tools it will work with any software platform or perhaps the system in the company and it would mimic on the interactions of the human since it has the user interface of the application, which are required for the process of the business (Breazeal, 2003). The robots usually use the methodologies that vary from the tool to the tool; they identify uniquely the sources of the data as well as the input and the output fields, which are part of the user’s workflow. The methodologies let the robots to replicate the human activity on the computer system, in case the exact steps could be defined as the script or perhaps a flowchart. The activity of a robot are customizable highly and they could be triggered as per the defined schedule or even an event driven. In the short term, the company could use the cognitive automation in the front office of the organization in order to replicate on the human interaction. An example of these are on the chatbots as well as the voice recognition based application. The simple robots in the front office activities could automate the simple transactions as well as optimize on the turnaround time for the more complex activities. On the long term the organization should aim at implementing RPA technology on all their back office processes in order to help the organization to place itself geographically to enable them improve on their efficiency and productivity when offering services. Example on the areas that can be improved are the data entry and the reporting processes which could be made efficient with the use of the robotic automation. There would be an optimization of the turnaround time for the processes, which have the structured as well as unstructured data as the inputs (Wang, Carley, Zeng & Mao, W. (2007). When the businesses are improved, the organization will be ahead of the competitors therefore, they would be able to expand their business to the other regional because of the faster delivery of service and preference over the rivals.

Domestic or Household Robots

The robotics are used in various industries such as manufacturing, military and the mining.  They are increasingly being used in the factories and many individuals are losing their jobs as the robots are becoming more efficient as well as precise than the humans are (Dautenhahn, 2007). The following are the advantages of the robots.

The robots could be used to go down far into the places that are unknown where the humans could be crushed. An example of this it can be used in the mining industry as well as in the diffusion of the bomb. Secondly, the robots have been found to perform the tasks at a faster rate than the human can do (Camarillo, Krummel & Salisbury, 2004). Further, they can do more consistently as well as accurately. The robots have been found to endure on the hostile environment, such as the interplanetary atmospheres do not reflect their physical state as well as performance (Schatsky & Schwartz, 2015). Lastly, the robots have been found to carrying out the repetitive as well as time consuming tasks very efficiently, they can do dangerous tasks, they can be adjusted on their parameters such as the time and the speed and they are unaffected by aspects which affect the humans.

One of the disadvantage of the robots is that they are not intelligent or sentient (Lee, Olson & Trimi, 2010). They can never improve on the results of the jobs, which is outside their predefined programming, since they do not think, they do not have emotions or even conscience, this therefore limits on the robots on how they can help or even interact with the people. Secondly, there is the risk of being hacked by an attacker who can take over the control of the robot to enable it to commit a crime (Melfi, Menconi, Mariani & Angeletti, 2002). This can pose a great deal when it comes to the image of the organization (Lee, 2007). The cost of the robots is very high especially in the maintenance as well as the repair. The programs should be updated more often in order to suit on the changing requirement. In the event of the breakdown the cost of repair is also very high and the procedure for the restoration the lost code or perhaps the data could be time consuming (Bentas, Wolfram, Jones, Bräutigam, Kramer & Binder, 2003). The organization in the case study would likely inquire loss especially when it comes to the update as well as the repair and maintenance. Many individuals will also lose their jobs as the robots are much efficient and they can perform much faster than the human can undertake a given task (Camarillo, Krummel & Salisbury, 2004). On one hand, it would be beneficial to the organization and on the opposite is a major lose to the employees who are working in the company.

There have been potential hazardous risks, which have been associate with the use of the robots in the workplace. Some of the risks is such as security concerns especially when a hackers attack the program and controls the robot to do the work they want (Dautenhahn, 2007). This risk could be overcome if the robot has been installed well before it has been operational. When assembling the robot there should be proper installation of the robotic work cell and ensure all the control software and the hardware are well  installed to prevent any loophole used by the hackers to control the system (Lee, 2007). There should be a proper installation of the robot which for the vital to success of the project and there should be safety procedures in place to make sure the system is installed correctly before there is full operations.  When proper installation has been done some of the errors such as control errors, human errors and unauthorized access could be prevented.

Military Robots

The robots could be used to maximize on the productivity by reduction of the costs, but this may lead to some serious social issues such as unemployment especially when some staff will be laid off when the organization purchases the robot to work for them instead (Ahson & Ilyas, 2008). Moreover, it could lead to deterioration of the relationship of the employees and attitude towards the work. When the robots have replaced the human workforce, there is a high possibility of increase of illegal criminal activities in the society due to unemployment in population. To overcome this issue the organization could validate on the significance of the robot workforce, which relate to the rise in productivity, efficiency and minimise on the wastages (Westerman, Bonnet & McAfee, 2014). There is also ethical consideration of whether employees will get to work with the robots. The concern is working with them individuals do not emotional connect to the robots nor do they make impression in their life (Cascio & Montealegre, 2016).  Valuable qualities of the human such as sensitiveness as well as carefulness is unforeseeable from the robots. In overcoming this problem, the organization could educate the workers on the importance of the need of the technology. It is meant to help to be more productive as well as deliver on the services quicker. Once they get to embrace the importance of the robots they could work together to achieve a lot in the organization. The legal issue to consider is that of security how to keep the robot safe from the adversaries (Lee, 2007). The more the technology becomes powerful the more it could be used for the nefarious reasons and good. This applies to the robots, which are used to replace the humans. The robot could create damage if they are used maliciously. There is need to implement these system well in order to prevent hackers from taking control of the system.

Conclusion

The following recommendation could be implemented. One should be the development of the employee involvement or participation in the introduction of the robotic technology in the organization. There should be formation of a taskforce, which consist of the various department where the robots are being introduced.  There should be technical support individuals who should be involved in the change of the process. There should be implementation of the occupational safety standards in order to ensure that there is safety of the workers and the robots. Some cases have arisen where the robots have been hacked and control taken over them to commit crime. These guidelines when implemented will address some of these issues. Lastly, safety measures should be developed and operationalized to protect the human workers as they work with the robots.

References

Ahson, S. A., & Ilyas, M. (2008). RFID handbook: applications, technology, security, and privacy. CRC press.

Awazu, Y., Baloh, P., Desouza, K. C., Wecht, C. H., Kim, J., & Jha, S. (2009). Information– communication technologies open up innovation. Research-Technology Management, 52(1), 51-58.

Bentas, W., Wolfram, M., Jones, J., Bräutigam, R., Kramer, W., & Binder, J. (2003). Robotic technology and the translation of open radical prostatectomy to laparoscopy: the early          Frankfurt experience with robotic radical prostatectomy and one year follow-up.       European urology, 44(2), 175-181.

Breazeal, C. (2003). Toward sociable robots. Robotics and autonomous systems, 42(3), 167-175.

Camarillo, D. B., Krummel, T. M., & Salisbury, J. K. (2004). Robotic technology in surgery: past, present, and future. The American Journal of Surgery, 188(4), 2-15.

Cascio, W. F., & Montealegre, R. (2016). How technology is changing work and organizations. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 3, 349-375.

Compagna, D., & Kohlbacher, F. (2015). The limits of participatory technology development: the case of service robots in care facilities for older people. Technological forecasting and social change, 93, 19-31.

Dautenhahn, K. (2007). Methodology & themes of human-robot interaction: A growing research field. International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 4(1), 15.

Fasoli, S. E., Krebs, H. I., & Hogan, N. (2004). Robotic technology and stroke rehabilitation: translating research into practice. Topics in stroke rehabilitation, 11(4), 11-19.

Lee, K. R. (2007). Patterns and processes of contemporary technology fusion: the case of  intelligent robots. Asian Journal of Technology Innovation, 15(2), 45-65.

Lee, S. M., Olson, D. L., & Trimi, S. (2010). The impact of convergence on organizational innovation. Organizational Dynamics, 39(3), 218-225.

Schatsky, D., & Schwartz, J. (2015). Redesigning work in an era of cognitive technologies. Deloitte Review, 17, 5-21.

Melfi, F. M., Menconi, G. F., Mariani, A. M., & Angeletti, C. A. (2002). Early experience with robotic technology for thoracoscopic surgery. European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery, 21(5), 864-868.

Wang, F. Y., Carley, K. M., Zeng, D., & Mao, W. (2007). Social computing: From social informatics to social intelligence. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 22(2).

Westerman, G., Bonnet, D., & McAfee, A. (2014). Leading digital: Turning technology into business transformation. Harvard Business Press.

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