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What are Humanoid Robots Used For?

What are Humanoid Robots Used For

Humanoid robots are about to transform our way of life by performing tasks frequently considered unsuitable for humans. Not only are these humanoid robots incredibly efficient, but they also keep improving, getting better and better over time.

One of robotics’ most significant challenges is building robots that can efficiently operate in a world intended for humans. However, many high-tech robotic industries like Boston Dynamics, Honda, and SoftBank have made incredible strides in building humanoid robots that help and assist humans in several fields.

What are humanoid robots used for? To answer this question, we explore the various ways and means humanoid robotics is changing our lives.

Overview of Humanoid Robots

The concept of a humanoid robot has its roots in numerous cultures across the globe. Greek myths and various Chinese philosophical texts from the 4th century BCE contain some of the earliest references to the concept of humanoid robots. Later, humanoid robots were developed physically in France, Italy, Japan, and the Middle East.

types of humanoid robots

For example, The Flute Player, a notable humanoid robot built by French inventor Jacques de Vaucanson in the 18th century, is one of the more recent historical references to humanoid robots. This human-sized, wooden robot was capable of playing a variety of flute tunes. It comprised a system of pipes, bellows, weights, and other mechanical parts designed to mimic the muscles used in playing the flute.

Humanoid robots are now employed as research instruments in many scientific fields. To create humanoid robots, researchers examine the anatomy and physiology of humans. Conversely, attempting to model the human body improves our comprehension of it.

Humanoid Robots in Different Sectors

Industrial Use of Humanoid Robots

Humanoids are being developed to create human-robot teams for use in manufacturing. However, over time, it is claimed that they will substantially impact manufacturing practices, particularly concerning lean manufacturing techniques and industrial safety standards.

Even though repetitive robotic process automation is already widely used in industrial settings, future workers will depend on robots to complete tasks that call for intelligence and adaptability.

Here are some recent uses for humanoid robots in manufacturing:

  1. Manufacturing

Humanoid robots are often used in manufacturing for repetitive, precise tasks. For instance, to increase assembly line productivity, Toyota uses humanoid robots like the Toyota Human Support Robot (HSR) to help with tasks like fetching tools or parts.

  1. Logistics and Warehousing

Companies like Amazon have deployed humanoid robots, such as Amazon Robotics’ “RoboStow” and “RoboPick,” to automate tasks like sorting, picking, and transporting goods in their warehouses. These robots work collaboratively with human workers to fulfill orders quickly and accurately.

Healthcare Applications of Humanoid Robots

During the COVID-19 pandemic, humanoid robots quickly advanced in assisting the overburdened global healthcare system.

A few months before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in October 2019, Diligent Robotics successfully raised $3 million in seed funding to introduce an autonomous robot assistant that will transport lab samples and medical supplies throughout the hospital.

role of robots in artificial intelligence

Humanoid robots began to be used in hospitals across the globe in the middle of 2020 to gather data on patients who may have been exposed to the SARS-Cov-2 virus, thus decreasing the need for human interaction.

The following uses of humanoid robots in the medical field:

  1. Robotic Surgery

Surgical robots, such as the da Vinci Surgical System, have transformed minimally invasive surgery despite not always having a humanoid appearance.

This system allows for enhanced accuracy in performing precise and delicate procedures. It is operated by a surgeon using robotic arms fitted with surgical instruments.

  1. Telepresence and Remote Care

Telepresence-capable humanoid robots allow patients and healthcare professionals to communicate remotely. Healthcare workers can virtually visit patients in different locations, conduct consultations, and offer support without being physically present, thanks to robots like the Avatarion Telepresence Robot.

Humanoid Robots in Hospitality

The Alibaba AI Lab in China has introduced a hotel robot. The visitor uses voice commands to control every aspect of the experimental robots, from meal delivery to laundry.

Humanoid robots have been used in hospitality in China quite a bit. In China, innovative restaurants have become —an impact. Customers can use the intelligent system to place food orders or pay attention to the public number.

The intelligent stir-frying completes tasks like dishwashing, potting, and cleaning after receiving payment for the order.

Here are some more examples of how humanoid robots are being utilized in the hospitality sector to improve customer relations:

  1. Front Desk Assistance

Hotels worldwide incorporate humanoid robots into their front desk operations to assist guests with check-in, check-out, and concierge services.

For instance, using facial recognition technology, the Henn-na Hotel in Japan employs humanoid robots at its reception desk to greet guests, answer questions, and complete check-in procedures.

  1. Room Service and Deliveries

Humanoid robots deliver amenities, meals, and other items to hotel guest rooms. These robots can navigate hallways, elevators, and corridors autonomously, ensuring timely and efficient delivery while reducing the workload for hotel staff.

The YOTEL New York, for example, introduced a robot named “YOBOT” to assist guests with luggage storage and retrieval.

Personal Use of Humanoid Robots

Humanoid robots designed for personal use are equipped with artificial intelligence, sensors, and interactive capabilities to engage with users in a human-like manner.

These robots are designed to perform tasks, provide companionship, and enhance individuals’ overall quality of life in their homes and personal spaces.

  1. Elderly Care

Humanoid robots like Pepper, developed by SoftBank Robotics, provide companionship and assistance to elderly individuals.

These robots can engage in conversations, remind users to take medication, and even facilitate physical exercises to promote mobility and well-being. For example, in Japan, Pepper robots are used in nursing homes to engage residents in social interactions and cognitive activities.

  1. Household Assistance

Humanoid robots are increasingly being integrated into households to assist with household chores, entertainment, and organization.

For instance, the ASUS Zenbo robot is equipped with voice control, facial recognition, and mobile connectivity to help users with tasks like setting reminders, controlling smart home devices, and playing music or videos.

Implications and Significance of Humanoid Robots 

Humanoid robots represent a significant technological advancement with broad implications for society. While offering potential benefits such as improved efficiency and enhanced human-robot interactions, their integration raises complex ethical, social, and economic questions.

Impact of Humanoid Robots

  1. Environment

Humanoid robots can contribute to environmental sustainability by improving energy efficiency and reducing resource consumption in various industries.

In agriculture, robots like Greenbotics solar panel cleaning robots help maintain the efficiency of solar panels, thereby maximizing energy production without the need for water-intensive cleaning methods.

Humanoid robots in manufacturing processes can optimize energy usage and reduce waste, contributing to a more sustainable production environment.

  1. Society

Humanoid robots have the potential to enhance society by providing assistance and support to individuals in various contexts.

For instance, robots like the TUG autonomous mobile robot assist with tasks such as delivering medications and supplies in hospitals, freeing up healthcare professionals to focus on patient care.

Humanoid robots like Pepper, deployed in retail and hospitality settings, enhance customer service and provide companionship, enriching the human experience in these environments.

  1. Economy

Integrating humanoid robots into industries can increase productivity and efficiency, driving economic growth and competitiveness. In manufacturing, companies like Tesla use robots such as the KUKA robotic arms to automate production processes, leading to higher output and lower production costs.

Humanoid robots can create new job opportunities in robotics engineering, software development, and maintenance, contributing to economic growth and innovation.

 The Future of Humanoid Robots

The market for humanoid robotics is expected to expand quickly, from $1.6 billion to $214.4 billion by 2032. The growing need for humanoid robots across various industries, including personal assistance, entertainment, education, manufacturing, and healthcare, is driving this expansion.

In addition to the predicted economic benefits, humanoid robotics has enormous potential in other fields, such as engineering.

Advancements and Use-Cases

Future humanoid robots are likely to exhibit even greater capabilities in terms of mobility and interaction with humans. In healthcare, they could serve as personalized assistants for elderly care, rehabilitation, and mental health support.

In manufacturing, advancements may lead to robots capable of autonomous decision-making and adaptive learning, further optimizing production processes.

Humanoid robots could also find applications in education, entertainment, space exploration, and disaster response, among other areas.

Ethical Considerations and Challenges

Ethical considerations become increasingly paramount as humanoid robots become more integrated into society. Concerns include privacy, consent, safety, and the potential for discrimination. In healthcare, using robots for sensitive tasks raises questions about patient autonomy and data confidentiality.

Similarly, concerns about the emotional impact of human-robot interactions and the blurring of boundaries between humans and machines arise in social settings.

There are broader societal implications, such as job displacement, economic inequality, and the potential to misuse robotics technology.

Conclusion

Humanoid robots have the potential to completely transform several industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and even personal help. They expect greater productivity, enhanced human-robot interactions, and increased efficiency as their capabilities and applications grow. But even as we welcome these technological wonders, we must face complex societal issues and moral problems.

In a world where humanoid robots are becoming a part of our everyday lives, how do we handle the challenges of safety, consent, and privacy? What effects might widespread adoption have, such as increased economic inequality and job displacement?

As we approach a time when humanoid robots will be commonplace, it is critical to consider these issues and direct technological advancement in a way that will benefit all people.

A thought-provoking scenario emerges: How do we define humanity in a world where humanoid robots gradually become indistinguishable from humans?



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