Robots We Might See in the Future

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With technology expanding at an exponential rate, scientists and analyst have been hypothesizing a variety of robots that we might see in the future to accomplish remedial to revolutionary tasks. One brand of robots that have already begun to be experimented with are nanobots: sentient devices that are so small they are on par with a red blood cell. Magnetic microrobots are being developed by Chinese researchers in conjunction with South Korean and Swiss institutes.

The nickel coated bots are steered wirelessly by electromagnetic fields. They are being designed to carry medicine and deliver it within someone’s body exactly where they need it, and also provide maintenance of the blood vessels. Due to external control, the little gadgets can even carry precious cargo to sensitive areas of the body like the eyes or brain. Zhang Li, a lead researcher for the projects, stated that the testing of these bots on humans is likely decades away, but they have tested them on rats and mice.

Robotics expert Andy Marchese created a robot that challenges the notion of a stiff and rigid structure for the smart technology. Marchese has a lot of fish tanks populated with varying species of fish, and none of them need to be fed. His fish prefer compressed air and batteries. Marchese created Bubbles, a green silicone fish that sways its tail, alternatively inflates its sides, and moves around its surroundings (seemingly) freely – it is a perfect imitation of a carp.

Marchese stated that the world of robotics is prejudiced toward toward rigid structures, due to algorithms being simpler to develop for them. “Soft” robotics solve several issues for the world of robots we might see in the future. They do not have to calculate their movements as precisely as stiff robots who rely on springs and joints. They are much better at navigating uncontrolled environments. Their fluidity and softness enables them to work safely alongside humans, because if a malfunction happens it will be on par with being attacked by a “pillow.” Marchese is a member of MIT’s elite Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

In a future where we might see a multitude of robots that perform many tasks for humans, a lot of jobs might be taken away from humans. Martin Smith, professor of robotics at Middlesex University, confidently estimated a list of jobs that will be the first to be given to robots. One of the areas he describes is transportation. Smith estimates that train and taxi drivers will be replaced by robots due to their precision and reliability, even going so far as to replace human pilots as well.

The professor also believes that robots will occupy hospitals as nurses, and eventually perform surgeries with perfect, steady, mathematical precision, given that robots innately have steady hands. Smith also said that robotics will play a bigger part in space exploration than they already do. Currently, NASA and space programs around the world utilize robotic probes to explore space -most notably Curiosity’s voyage to Mars. However, Smith declared that in the future robots will be our astronauts and spaceship technicians.

By Andres Loubriel

The Verge
Popular Science