- Materials & Industrial Technology
Will Robots Transform Human Life For The Better?
A Robot Helping An Elderly Woman
What was once just fantasy in science fiction books is quickly becoming a reality. Robots are starting to play a role in the everyday lives of humans. The question is will the introduction of robots transform human lives for the better or have a negative impact?
Many futuristic outlooks regarding how robots will impact humans take a dark dystopian view that paints a picture of evil robots that enslave and conquer mankind. Although that point of view might make for good novels and click-bait articles, the reality may be much more mundane and ultimately positive.
What if robots could play a positive and supportive role that transforms life for the better for humans? What if you could program a robot to cut the lawn and wash, dry and fold your clothes while you are at work? What if a robot could help a disabled or elderly person live a more independent life by taking care of their basic needs?
The possibilities are endless regarding how robots could transform human life for the better. Mankind has already lived through a life-enhancing machine revolution in which machines have taken over chores that once took humans many hours to do, from clothes washing to dish washing. We are now on the cusp of a robotics revolution that promises to free up even more time for humans.
How Robots Could Transform Life For The Better
Robotic technology is developing at a rapid place, and is now widely used in various types of manufacturing. While this proliferation of robots in factories is having a negative impact on the workers that are having their jobs replaced, in the long run the introduction of robots to everyday life could have some major benefits for mankind.
Imagine all of the free time people will have, if many of the menial tasks that that need to be performed to keep a home in good order could be performed by a robot that never complains and just needs an electric charge and some maintenance from time to time. For a disabled or elderly person, a household robot could mean the difference between being able to live independently in their own home versus being institutionalized. For someone who has a heart condition and can’t do strenuous work, a robot could clear snow for them, remove leaves or cut the lawn.
Ultimately, robots will allow many more people to live at a higher standard of living. The very wealthy already have servants and laborers that take care of their menial tasks and chores, allowing them to live a good life with plentiful free time. If everyone who could afford to buy, power and maintain a robot could be relieved of the daily tasks that make life burdensome, many more people could enjoy a higher quality of life.
iRobot's Robotic Vacuum Cleaners Are Widely Used Household Robots
Robots In The Home Will Free Up An Enormous Amount of Time For Humans
Life has become quite complicated and busy. People’s relationships with their spouses and children suffer from the inability to spend quality time doing things together. Between working and doing all the things that need to get done to keep a home in good order, people just don’t have a lot of time to interact with each other as a family. This situation could be made much better by sophisticated robots that perform menial tasks and chores around a home, freeing up valuable hours each day for people to spend more time together as a family.
One of the most precious commodities in life is time. People just don’t have enough of it to get everything done they need to get done in a day. Once the realization is made that robots can increase human’s free time by taking on menial tasks that must get done around the home, there will be a natural demand for robots to take over tasks that humans don’t particularly enjoy doing anyway.
But, will this robot labor force actually make life better for mankind? The answer is undoubtedly yes. Humans will be able to free up an enormous amount of time. There is also the benefit of avoiding repetitive motion injuries or strains from back breaking work. While one can get a good workout cleaning their house or doing any number of common household tasks, the repetitions can cause problems over time to joints and cause muscle strains in the near-term.
If this all seems far-fetched, consider how much time and strain common household appliances save you in a week. Before there were washing machines and clothes dryers, a person would have to set aside several hours per week to do very repetitive work that involved manually washing and hanging clothing to dry. Before stove tops and ovens, cooking a meal would require time and labor to get a fire started. Cleaning up after a meal is much faster and easier with a dishwasher available to do the cleaning work.
Some may argue that the last thing people need is to be less active, since chores get people moving around and provide needed exercise. However, the time saved by letting robots do the work does not have to be spent laying on a couch watching television. Instead of mowing the lawn for an hour, you might be free to go for a run or play a few games of tennis. You might also be able to spend more time with your loved ones going for a stroll.
How Far Off is Robot Nirvana?
How far off is this robot nirvana? That question is difficult to answer, since beyond manufacturing and some early forays of robots into the home, such as robotic vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers, many of the robots that one day will help around the home are still in the research and development stage or haven’t even been invented yet. However, as the development of the Internet and smartphones have demonstrated, technological innovation and development can occur at a blazing fast speed, once technologies reach a critical mass of sophistication and acceptance. This is especially true if there is an economic incentive for companies to develop helpful robots and their development is driven by consumer demand.
The Future of Robots Quiz
How Do View The Future of Robots As They Relate To Mankind?
How Robots Benefit Humans
A Robotic Pool Cleaner At Work
© 2017 John Coviello