Robots that are quite out of the common

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How would you imagine a robot? For now, let’s forget about Terminator or Wall-e. Innovations like a robotic vacuum cleaner or industrial robot arms are widely known. In this blog, you can learn about special robots that are less present in the public consciousness, even though they are very useful.

A robot is a machine, a mechanical structure that is similar to humans in some ways and is able to perform certain human tasks automatically.

Of course, the best-known robots are still industrial robotic arms that can be used to automate certain tasks in factories. According to a 2019 survey, most industrial robots are in service in China (roughly 140,000 units), followed by Japan and the United States (World Robotics 2020 report).

However, beyond the robotic arms of industry, there is still a great variety of robots at work, so people don’t have to “face the universe alone” (as Isaac Asimov wrote in his famous novel, I, robot).

Cobots

Cobot

Also included in industrial robots are collaborative robots, shortly cobots. Cobots were specifically invented to work with people in a safe way.

Many industrial robots need to be completely shut down as this is the only way to operate safely. At the same time, many tasks require humans and robots to work in a common space, performing consecutive subtasks.

Cobots are relatively new innovations, but they have already undergone significant development in the last few years. More interesting things can be read about them on the A3 Association blog: What are the 4 Types of Collaborative Robots?

Software robots

Software robots do not have a physical body, that is why they are often referred to only as “bots” in English. These are programs that can automate monotonous, repetitive tasks. They perform business tasks and are not deployed in factories but in offices.

The chatbot is perhaps the best-known software robot that can automate customer service tasks. It answers frequently asked questions without any problems. It is also often difficult to decide whether a person or a robot is on the other side. However, if you ask a unique question that the chatbot has not been taught, you certainly can’t give a proper answer.

If the chatbot does not understand the user’s request, it can become annoying for the user. Because of this, robots that can learn from interaction are of great value.

RPA

Robotic Process Automation

Robotic Process Automation is also hot stuff. With the help of these programs and bots, we are able to automate various business tasks. The bots work with different IT systems and applications, they can answer employee questions, organize data, but they can also extract useful information from audit documents.

Needless to say, greater efficiency can be achieved at a lower cost. Robots are less mistaken, while humans make a lot of mistakes in such “machine”, monotonous tasks. In addition, the performance of certain subtasks is accelerated.

Speaking humanoid robots

For me, talking robots are still the most exciting.

Pepper robot

The cute little Pepper robot was initially seen by many as just a marketing ploy. Anyway, it has incredible marketing value, and our clients are always eager to post about it. It is extremely popular, so it also steals the show at events. After them, people flood social media with videos and selfies with Pepper.

However, a number of other applications have emerged. Pepper is very good at dealing with children with autism and also popular amongst the elderly. More and more researches are conducted on the use of humanoid robots in healthcare. They also play a significant role in education, we recently presented Pepper to the pupils of Future School in Veresegyháza.

Customer service is the most typical use of this robot. It can be used for this purpose in hotels, department stores, shopping malls and many other places.

Similar to chatbots, you can automate frequently asked questions. In the background, there is a software robot, called voicebot. Thanks to our development, there is no need to write the commands. In the most natural way, we can instruct computers by speaking.

Conclusions

The special robots presented in this article are relatively new. The general public is well acquainted with industrial robotic arms, which have long been available on the market and are used in large numbers in Hungary as well. Lesser-known solutions are cobots, which at the same time are able to work with the human workforce. Software robots, on the other hand, are used daily on several platforms. RPA solutions can automate repetitive business tasks.

My personal favourites are the speaking humanoid robots like Pepper.

More readings

Helpsystems.com: The best software robots for business

Think Automation: What are software robots?