Are we ready for Service Robots?
Humans have constantly endeavoured to ease their lives by using different machines that can act as their substitutes. At the same, there are many jobs which have severe threat levels. These are the perfect jobs for service robots. These robots were created with an in-built control system and an option to override the method.
The term “robot” first appeared in the science fiction play “R.U.R.” by Karel Čapek in 1920.
There is a staggering difference between the robots used in industries and hospitals from the service robots. Service robots are generally used in retail, hospitality, healthcare, warehouse, agricultural applications etc.
The professional service robotic market has almost reached $40 billion. Businesses are more inclined to automate many dangerous jobs so that humans can focus on the intellectual tasks at hand. Many are now using inspection and cleaning robots, which have minimal downtime.
As the demand increases, agriculture robots will become more incorporated into every facet of agricultural activity. By using advanced sensors, these service robots will spray for weed control, harvest crops, plant seeds, and prune existing plants and trees.
Many retail outlets are exploring new ways to use these service robots. One of these robots spots an error in placing any product in the retail shop and then directly goes to the owner. For example, various Japanese department stores use a humanoid robot called Pepper to sell coffee makers. The Artificial Intelligence inside Pepper uses its interactions with humans to keep learning new things about its environment. Even companies like Rob fusion have started offering robots that can serve them ice cream with preference toppings. Some companies even provide security robots which move around the premises autonomously, scan the people around for their ID cards, and recognise their faces to ensure no one is entering the building illegally. However, these security robots aren’t equipped to use force.
Robots aren’t just limited to retail outlets; even large-scale hotels have started experimenting with the idea of having an automated service with the help of service robots. Japanese have always remained a step ahead of the world regarding living standards and technology. They achieved this with the Henn-na Hotel, situated in Nagasaki, Japan. It became the first hotel in the world to be entirely staffed by robots. Throughout the hotel, robots are deployed to provide information, front desk services, storage services, and check-in and check-out services, with technology including voice and facial recognition. Other hotels such as Hilton haven’t gone for complete automation but have robots dispensing necessary information to guests at different booths. Something as simple as a chatbot helping us on a travel agency website could also be categorised as a service robot.
Even airports are using the service ‘robots’ abilities to provide information to travellers, providing them with boarding passes and checking in their luggage.
However, the increasing use of robots in performing tasks alongside or with human co-workers raises novel occupational safety and health issues. The new 21st-century workplace will be one in which occupational robotics plays an increasing role. The primary approach to industrial robot safety is the maintenance of a safe distance between human workers and operating robots through the creation of “guarded areas.” Worker entrance into the safeguarded area would require a shutdown of the robot. However some top hoteliers say that human work force is more important as compared to robots in terms of guest interaction due to industry heterogeneous nature. Empathy makes human superior.
Discuss such topics at the Hospitality Management College at Amrapali Institute, Haldwani. Amrapali Educational Institute is a top-ranked institute in Uttarakhand.