From Personal Computers To Personal Robots

Personal computers and, more recently, smartphones have become important factors in our lives and help us everyday in everything we do. Technology over the ages has always changed the world and improved standards of living. But it appears we are about to take another leap with a shift to personal robots.

New technology

Technology always brings change but the current iteration of personal robots will free us to spend more time doing what we want.

Robots will not only replace some of us in our jobs but will also work alongside us to complement and add value to the work we do.

In this scenario a robot’s capacity to gather information and make speedy calculations coupled with our ability to make decisions and use good judgement will merge.

We are at the start of an era where the idea of robots and humans working together will become as commonplace as the relationship we currently have with our smartphone.

And just as the smartphone has become an essential and everyday part of our life personal robots will develop to inhabit a similarly intimate and comfortable position.

Technology achieves success when it is absorbed into our habits and routines: computers have already reached such invisibility and robots are starting upon a similar journey.

Where are we now?

Robots already carry out many essential tasks and their future is driven by commercial interest, advances in technology, rapidly falling costs and the escalating power of the internet.

Self-drive cars were thought to be impossible until recent years but are now seen as a credible option not least because of massive investment by Google and others.

There are, however, a number of hurdles facing the industry as it tries to produce the right types of robots at the right time and at the right cost to meet future demand.

The fact that a robot’s every single action has to be programmed acts as a temporary barrier as they still lack the ability to make decisions in uncertain and unfamiliar environments.

Similarly, a robot’s relatively poor communication skills and naivety when interacting with people and other robots highlight the need for further fine-tuning.

The hope is that progress will be made when robots and humans work more closely together as the collective effort will reap rewards.

Greater levels of engagement will foster faster learning as people and robots work side-by-side to create a new workplace dynamic, new jobs and a new economy.

Personal robots have a long way to go before they become as commonplace as the smartphone but progress will come in waves until the novel becomes normal.

So, personal computers and smartphones entered our lives and changed the way we live and now personal robots are poised to do the same.