Published On: Tue, Nov 28th, 2017

How Humanoid Robots Will Become Part of Our Lives in the Near Future

The first true autonomous robots have been around since the late 1940s, and since then, they have become a big part of our modern industrial civilization. In fact, today’s biggest industries rely heavily on robots in order to meet the world’s ever-increasing demands for all kinds of goods. However, most robots today have very little in common with what most people are familiar with: the humanoid machines they usually see in comic books, television shows, and movies. Nevertheless, this could all change in the near future, when humanoid robots could become more and more common.

Humanoid RobotsEmulating the Human Touch

There are already functioning humanoid robots today, but they are still hampered by certain limitations. Aside from the difficulty of replicating human motions, the production cost of developing both hardware and software to make a near-perfect replication of a human is too much to allow full-scale production of humanoid robots at present. Fortunately, what we do have today is a good indication of how tomorrow’s humanoid robots will affect people’s lives in the near future. Here are just a few of the sectors where we may see increasing use of humanoid robots.

Hospitality

The first most likely role of robots in the near future is in the hospitality industry, where they can work as guides for people on tours or serve as part of the welcoming staff in events, business establishments, and tourist destinations.

True enough, there are already existing airport guide robots in Korea’s Incheon International Airport. Launched by Korean electronics giant LG Electronics,the robots roam around the airport and work as a mobile information center that can help guide travelers to their departure gates, in addition to cleaning up litter in between.In the near future, humanoid robots that arecapable of performing better human-like mobility with the help of a series of micro brushless motors can perform similar roles.

Medicine

Humanoid robots also have a lot of potential in the medical field. By developing humanoid robots that are programmed to respond to certain stimuli or to emulate certain human movements, it may be possible in the near future to perform medical procedures using robotic agents. These include everything from simple procedures such as giving first aid and administering drugs,to complex procedures like surgeries. Indeed, some robots today—like the da Vinci Surgery System—are already being used to carry out surgical procedures in some hospitals, albeit still with the aid of surgeons who pilot such devices in the background.

Military and Defense

The military has always been quick to adapt new technologies, especially the concept of having humanoid robots as part of theirarsenal. Existing projects such as Boston Dynamic’s ATLAS can lead to the development of humanoid soldier robots that can functionboth as frontline troops and as peacekeepers inhigh-risk areas.

Robots can also come in handy when performing dangerous tasks that humans may be unable to.Good examples of these tasks include carrying wounded troops or heavy equipment over uneven terrain or defusing explosive devices.

Domestic Sector

Robots have already made their way into many homes, either as toys or as household appliances. In the near future, humanoid robots may become advanced enough to function as an intelligent house companion. Using voice commands and facial recognition systems as guides, a humanoid robot can identify its owner and respond to specific commands. The robot may be instructed to perform chores as well, including cleaning the floors, settingup other smart devices at home depending on the owner’s schedule and preferences, or tapping into the Internet to provide information to the homeowner.

Entertainment

Last but not least, humanoid robots have huge potential in providing entertainment. Humanoid robots can be used to perform basic stunts that would otherwise be too dangerous for human performers. The robots themselves can be the star of a performance, amazing people with feats that are impossible to achieve with non-mechanical alternatives. Robot combat, for example, is a form of competition today where custom-built robots play in an arena to disable or destroy their opponents. The American startup MegaBots Inc. even creates giant robots for such robotic sports competition. In the near future, you can expect machines to play bigger roles in the entertainment industry.

Given enough time, the concept of humanoid robots may pave the way for more advanced, more human-like versions, complete with their own quirks and personalities and afully functional consciousness. On the other hand, it’s also possible that humans themselves will merge with machines, helping the species achieve greater prominence in the age of artificial intelligence.