How Robotics Can Address the “Dull, Dirty, and Dangerous”

How Robotics Can Address the Dull, Dirty, and Dangerous

“We hope that the feelings of humanity will lead those …in power, to prevent the use of machines, to give every discouragement they can to what has a [prejudice] to their fellow-creatures.” – Joseph HP Lobley

Penning a letter at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, laborer Joseph Lobley implored his local municipality to reject the advent of industrial machinery. While robotics and automation have no doubt evolved tremendously in the last 200 years, the concerns regarding the impact of robotics is largely the same. Tomahawk Robotics is one of many companies hoping to tip the scales of this ongoing discussion to a more positive tone, by demonstrating how society can benefit from new technology addressing the three D’s of robotic applications: Dull, Dirty, and Dangerous.

Automation on the Farm

While the self-driving car is the poster child of the automation for the automotive world, an overlooked and envious technology is the driverless tractor, which has been put to great use to improve the productivity of farms all across the world. Companies like John Deere, ASI and Bear Flag Robotics are expanding the supply and reducing the cost of food through the application of technology.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that the global population will increase to 9.7 billion by 2050, and to meet that demand, farmers must produce 70% more food than current production. It stands to reason that if machines can be used to complete the repetitive, daunting tasks to meet these global demands, they should be. Modern farming technology means sensors can assess weather conditions with the ability to collect and synthesize data on a 24/7 basis. Day-to-day farming operations will grow in efficiency, all the while lowering operational costs and ultimately expanding access to food for people across the world.

Robotics in Public Safety and Defense

The role that robotics has played in manufacturing has grown significantly over the last several decades. As robotics hardware and software grew in sophistication and functionality, it isn’t a surprise that this technology was soon leveraged by the security and defense sector.

Tomahawk Robotics is working to provide tools to public safety and military professionals to improve the precision and safety of their jobs via an intuitive and portable human-machine interface.  This is embodied with the Kinesis Mobile app and the companion, hand-held accessory controller called MimicKinesis also enables users to combine information from networked cameras with robotic systems to support public safety and military missions.

Technologies like Kinesis and Mimic can play a meaningful role in repetitive, unenviable, and high-risk jobs. Organizations can improve the effectiveness of their people through the use of technology. Kinesis doesn’t eliminate the need for a human behind the wheel – it simply helps eliminates the three D’s.

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How Defense Robotics Keep Our Military Safe

Similar to the world of industrial and commercial robotics, the catalyst for defense robots came from the need to help carry out tasks that were too “dull, dirty, and dangerous” for soldiers. For the Military, in particular, addressing the dangerous tasks led to the development of such technologies like guided and unguided munitions, unmanned ground vehicles (UGV’s), and aerial drones capable of targeting and surveillance. Unmanned systems designed for security and defense purposes are called “defense robots,” and here are some of the ways they keep our military safe.

Read moreHow Defense Robotics Keep Our Military Safe

What is Enterprise Robotics?

It’s an unfortunate reality in the world of robotics, how misconceptions often overshadow the development and research of such technologies. Where robotics were once tethered to military applications, then adopted the identity of tackling the “dull, dirty, and dangerous” jobs – it’s understandable why small and medium-sized companies don’t see the potential for compatibility in their workflow. The misconception that robotics are limited to these areas, however, have created a delayed embrace from enterprise markets. Robotic solutions are evolving at breakneck speed, and are targeting areas such as customer service, shipping and delivery, hospitality, and so much more – helping define a new era of enterprise robotics.

Read moreWhat is Enterprise Robotics?

What Does the Future of Robotics Look Like?

What Does the Future of Robotics Look Like

A retrospective analysis of robotics technology over the last decade would show dichotomy-shifting changes in the ways the role of such technology is seen in everyday life, their practical applications, and their ever-evolving capabilities. As we approach the 2020’s, robots are hardly the dystopia-causing overlords that we were cautioned about in the 20th century – instead, they have permeated the fields of medicine, energy, and countless more, challenging traditional methods; while providing pathways to innovative solutions. With its counterparts, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic programming also growing in sophistication, we wanted to offer a glimpse of what the future of robots might look like.

Read moreWhat Does the Future of Robotics Look Like?

A Brief History of UAV Technology

Following 9/11, the United States set itself apart with its enthusiastic exploration of military application of drone technology. Innovation in robotic sensors and the ever-growing sophistication of robotic programming have redefined how the U.S. military pursues multi-domain operations, entering a new era of security and defense. Whether laboratory research or geopolitical tensions, the proliferation of unmanned vehicles is attributed to many factors. From reconnaissance balloons during World War I to robotic control systems, here is a brief history of UAV technology.

Read moreA Brief History of UAV Technology

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