Robotics taking over in the workplace has long been a fear of many blue-collar employees throughout the years. However, the usage of robotics in the workplace has been steadily growing and increasing our workplace value instead of decreasing it. Robotics allows many things to be accomplished that a human may not be able to accomplish continuously, the same way, for a long period of time. Robotics can also help to lessen margins of error, and in many ways, allow employees a better quality of life and a better, safer work environment. Here are some of the ways robots have changed our workplaces for the better.
Humans Get Tired
Human error is not just a term; it is an inevitability. Jobs such as factories, warehouses, or manufacturing can be extremely repetitive or require a large amount of strength and flexibility that is not realistic to ask for from any human in any job. This allows for efficiency and productivity to reduce, and can also create an unsafe working environment for anyone working in the area. Robots can perform repetitive, precision tasks millions of times over with no tiring and a very small margin of error. This can be especially important for something like assembling important medical equipment, or machines like cars or airplanes.
Hazardous Job Conditions
Robots can be created to work in most types of extreme conditions. Extremely hot or cold environments, dangerously small spaces, and hazardous situations (like debris or near possible explosions) are all very dangerous situations to humans. And while robots require maintenance, they do not get hurt. A human in a dangerous job may be injured and not be able to return to work, while a robot in the same position may need a few repairs, but it can return to the task immediately. This can also be very helpful for first responders, military personnel, and those who aid in disaster response.
There are hundreds of machines made for lifting things, as humans just cannot do the job. These types of machines range from car jacks to forklifts to cranes. But human interaction still has to come into the lifting somewhere, and sometimes a machine like a forklift cannot fit into all areas where a heavy load must be maneuvered. In these situations, robotics like an exoskeleton suit can allow a human to pair with technology to create a machine that can lift much more than a human while maneuvering as a human does. This can also be good in safety applications, promising good posture while lifting heavy loads and preventing strain from the human involvement.
More Visuals in More Places
Robotics involved in machines, such as drones, are improving the workplace by allowing us to see in places we could not easily see previously. Victims can be more easily located in the case of natural disasters by using robots and heat-seeking technology. Tunneling and exploring robots can be used to go into dangerous underground situations without requiring humans to risk their own lives to do so. Robots can even go into places like decommissioned nuclear power plants, exploring the risk and doing the job a human would have had to previously do, allowing for less exposure to radiation.
How many mundane tasks of your everyday life just have to be done, and take up too much time to do every day? While technology has improved greatly on the washing machine, we still have to do our own laundry, and the amount of time spent doing so could be better spent on other things. The same goes for the workplace. With robotics, instead of accomplishing the remedial, repetitive task that just has to be done every day without fail, as well as employee time, can be spent on more meaningful tasks that may be more valuable to their job.
Robotics in the workplace are forever changing the landscape of our workforce, but the improvements that technology has made far outweigh the negative sides of involving robots on the job. Robots are capable of doing many tasks that humans may not want or be able to do on a regular basis, bringing many benefits to humans in the process. And no doubt, the technology of tomorrow will see robots doing so much more to help us.