Industry 4.0: Will Robots Eliminate the Need for Human Labor

  • 2 months   ago

The first robot entered the manufacturing process in the 1960s. Ever since then, machines have been a severe threat to human jobs. It seems that unemployment levels due to robots are only now becoming a significant concern. 

What comes to mind when you say a robot? Movie fans will describe them as human-like machines that act and perform the same activities as people. Experts know these are specialized machines using high-quality robotic components and compact servomotors for robots like RDrive.

In the past, robots participated in the manufacturing processes in vehicle factories. Today, machines are ready to flip burgers in fast-food chains or work at checkouts in grocery stores.

It doesn’t mean human personnel is unnecessary now. The problem with robots is that they are not (too) intelligent. Machines focus on doing instead of thinking. While that increases productivity in simple tasks, it prevents them from doing complicated activities. Humans still need to be around to control the work and ensure everything is performed flawlessly.

New and Improved Machines

Artificial intelligence is moving forward, and it ensures robots are smarter than before. The experts announce the Industry 4.0 era. It will combine powerful computers with affordable prices. Those machines could communicate and perform tasks at high speed because of AI. 

Robots can assess the environment better and learn more about it. It ensures adaptability and enables machines to accommodate to different activities. Robots could also work in the same environment as people to coordinate together and improve the company’s productivity.

How Can Industry 4.0 Affect Big Industry Players?

New machines will revolutionize manufacturing floors in large enterprises. Instead of the production being centralized, the manufacturers can decentralize it now. Robots have become more independent, which increases collaboration capabilities and flexibility. That reduces the requirement of people controlling them. Instead, human personnel and robots work independently to ensure enhanced productivity of the process.

Imagine machines capable of assessing the environment and participate in an industrial network. Each robot collects and sends data for subsequent analysis. Data gathering will discover methods for accelerating production. Robots could be capable of assessing the time required for maintenance. It ensures getting ready for downtime and minimizing its negative effects. 

What About Small Manufacturers?

Enterprises that didn’t have the funds to invest in robots will appreciate the new era. It will make robots more affordable. The machines will be easy to configure to suit the needs of the manufacturer. They can be helpful in various areas on the manufacturing floor. From working on assembling parts to moving items around, robots will have more versatility than ever.

It would be wrong to assume robots are as smart as humans. Machines only create an illusion of performing intelligently. However, their “brains” could be described as “narrow.” It is why robots still have plenty of room to improve.

The industry promises “deep learning” as the next implemented machine feature. The function involves robots processing data collected from the environment. The processing would be done in real-time, and it enables the machine to decide on an action. As time goes, robots would make better decisions. They would identify mistakes and use data to enhance the odds of choosing correctly. If you are a Go game fan, you heard of the AlphaGo machine. The app learned from Go players and eventually beat even the best in the world.

The secret lies in GPUs, which are microchips applied when designing artificial intelligence in robots. GPUs allow considerable data to be processed at great speeds. 

Accessible Technology

Technology advances become more accessible as time passes. It is why small enterprises will have a chance to add machines to manufacturing. Collaborative robots will ensure they can take the best of both worlds – human personnel and machines. The increased number of manufacturers expected will also ensure robot affordability. 

An ongoing debate about how influential smarter robots will be on industries is still active. Artificial intelligence is not as powerful as we imagine it. We are not living the SF movies, but AI will be improving over the years. 

Experts believe it will be decades before robots will be capable of eliminating the need for the human workforce. Deep learning won’t be enough to substitute actual workers. Real artificial intelligence and capability of replicating the way humans think are required for better results.

As for the industry 4.0 era, its focus is on making things easier for human personnel. Instead of doing boring and repetitive activities, robots will do those jobs for them. People can focus on identifying ways to take the company forward or communicating with clients. 

Humans already adapted to the fact robots are making them redundant in some activities. The primary answer was education, but we might see different moves in the future. Politicians could protect human personnel by imposing taxes or implementing other measures. It is worth remembering that humanity is the one dictating how robots will be used.