We perhaps knew it was coming when the first computers came around (some more than others) that there’ll eventually come a time when a robot falls nothing short of being able to do the exact labour-related job a human can do, and perhaps even complete that job more efficiently. Visit any factory in the world which historically made extensive use of some of the more primitive robotic elements that were quite costly to have set up, operated, maintained and upgraded, and you’ll witness quite a remarkable transformation. The robotics industry has evolved quite rapidly, with those previously expensive and exclusive factory and industrial environment robots requiring use alongside trained and skilled professionals, specialising in robotics-specific fields such as:
- PLC (Programmable Logic Control) Programming
- Robotics, and
By no means is this a complete list of the specialist fields involved with production-line robotics, but it definitely forms somewhat of core of other derivative fields which in truth were more common when the robotics field was still in its infancy. It’s been a very long infancy and if the earlier production-focussed robotic elements rather took the form of a human baby, they’d be diagnosed with Failure-to-Thrive syndrome since the robotics industry went through a bit of a lull in progression. While there are still Online Technology Courses which give people with an aptitude for the robotics field a great opportunity to skill themselves appropriately for the industry, the climax of the robots-replacing-humans plot is just about right upon us. It’s no longer enough to just skill yourself in operating robotic elements because what is becoming an even more specialised robotics field has a pool of available jobs which is getting smaller and smaller.
Smarter Work Robots
It’s not quite at the point of “The Rise of the Machines,” but you’d have a strong case for arguing that that’s where it’s all headed. You get the likes of the Baxter robot, which is perhaps a bit unnecessarily uncanny with the rather expressive face displayed on its would-be monitor/screen, but this is perhaps the epitome of exactly where things are headed. Not only are robots like these leaner, more intelligent and markedly more efficient, they can be reused with no fuss at all. They’re designed to be very safe and, perhaps most importantly, you don’t really programme them anymore, but rather train and teach them.
So most definitely, where there would have been a human who qualifies for some sick leave they probably make full use of, there’s now an intuitive, intelligent robot which can do the job much better, much quicker and won’t claim damages for any injuries suffered while on duty, simply because there’ll be no injuries (safety) to speak of. And well, it’s a robot. As frightening as this may be to those whose thoughts cannot help but fall upon the disappearing jobs which are now taken up by robots, it’s not all doom and gloom. These next-gen robots are in fact mostly replacing those jobs which have been outsourced to cheap overseas labour. Locally, all that’s happening is a shift in job dynamics. Where you’d have had to attend a boring workplace etiquette course in order to qualify for some or other job you were eyeing, you now simply have to look in the direction of certified programmes in the various exciting robotics-related fields, even if you merely want to be a third-party developer.