The robots are starting to teach themselves.
While that’s true, we’re not talking about the singularity. It’s something much more influential in our daily lives: self-reconfiguring modular robots. In short, these robots are able to adjust to real-life situations in real-time, without the guidance of a person.
Do autonomous robots sound scary to you? Take a step back. If you look at a history of robots, you’ll see how many groundbreaking “robots” could have frightened users of the day.
These new robots are groundbreaking, like Transformers in real life. If you’ve never heard of them, don’t worry. Here’s what you need to know.
How We Got Here
We tend to think of robots as one-dimensional machines.
That’s not to say they’re uninteresting–far from it. But, the robots we use in our daily lives can only do one thing on their own. Human guidance is needed for something like a car, toaster or cell phone to stop or change its behaviour.
Self-reconfiguring modular robots differ in that respect. After decades of granting autonomy to robots, scientists have finally arrived at a place where robots are true decision makers.
What Are self-reconfiguring modular robots?
This new kind of robot isn’t the result of some freak accident in a lab. Instead, it’s the product of decades of work from scientists around the world.
In short, these new robots are able to make their own decisions by adjusting to their surroundings. They can recover from damage more effectively than current robots, setting up massive steps forward for future robots.
Consider a robot that can travel in a straight line. You put it on a table, and it moves across. But, if you place a computer in its path, it won’t be able to maneuver around the obstacle.
A self-reconfiguring modular machine would be able to recognize that object and move around it. Without any review of the impediment, the machine could swivel and work around the computer before returning to a straight line.
All that without the guidance of a person.
What’s to Come
So, we’ve arrived at a moment when robots think for themselves. Is this the end of humanity?
Well, probably not. On the on hand, you could argue that robots have always done tasks on their own. In fact, that’s the whole point: they take away burdens from people by performing daily duties, like addition or heating up our food.
Still, it’s true that this self-reconfiguring technology is groundbreaking. More reasonable predictions do see a shift in society based on this new technology. Robots are on a path to doing more sophisticated work, which means they’ll soon start replacing jobs that have traditionally been human.
But these new robots won’t necessarily just steal jobs. In fact, they’re on pace to do incredible things.
In the future, robots will be able to temporarily support collapsing buildings, enter hazardous conditions and save lives. They’re positive for humanity on the whole.
With all the innovation happening out there, it’s about time that new technologies became more accessible to you.
Well, the good news: they are. From 3D printing to custom robot application, your options are many and growing.
Check out our services to see if there’s anything that catches your interest. We’re doing some cool stuff, and it’s easy for you to get in on the action.
PATA Electric CompanySeptember 12, 2018
I enjoyed reading through this Great Blog.
Kathy CoteMarch 6, 2019
I would like permission to use the image of the robots on your homepage in an assignment for my college class I teach at Indiana State University. I will of course provide citation information with the image. Thank you.