2020 has seen automation become an even more important subject, but what does the future hold in store? 2021 could prove to be a crucial year in the move towards greater levels of automation in various industries, so now is a good moment to see what the main trends to look out for are.
More Autonomous Robots to Be Used in Warehouses
There has been some sort of automated machinery used in warehouses for several years now, but the introduction of autonomous mobile robots (AMR) technology could move this onto the next level. These are smart robots that use their sensors to get around even a cluttered environment safely and speedily.
AMRs can be used in many different types of setting, but it is easy to see why they could be so vital in a warehouse. With more people than ever before buying products online, the major companies in this field are keen to provide a fast, efficient service while keeping their costs down as low as possible.
The reason that AMRs could prove perfect for warehouses is that they are incredibly flexible. They will work out the best route to take every time, meaning that they can be left to their own devices even in a fast-moving business when thinking on your feet is needed. The driverless trucks to be introduced by Walmart show us what the end part of the delivery process could soon look like.
More Workplaces Sharing Jobs Between Humans and Robots
Some predictions suggest that robots could take the place of human workers in as many as two million manufacturing jobs by 2020. Yet, we shouldn’t simply think of this as being a case of machines taking over all of the roles that were traditionally fulfilled by humans. Instead, likely, we work together with robots in the future. Many companies are already looking for ways to combine the skills of their people with the efficiency that machines can bring. Having these different types of worker side by side gives them the best of both worlds.
Robot Process Automation (RPA) is the name given to describe how a machine can copy tasks and actions carried out by a human worker. This gives companies a chance to get the most repetitive tasks done easily. But humans are still needed to make decisions and be creative.
A Greater Degree of Automation in the Financial World
Finance is one area where automation can be used with great success. Studies, such as the ‘Amplifying Human Potential: Towards Purposeful Artificial Intelligence’ report by Infosys, suggest that many businesses in this industry are already working towards automation or have now introduced some form of automation.
Repetitive, rule-driven work can be passed onto bots fairly easily, but a key phrase used in this industry is Intelligent Automation (IA). Rather than simply following simple rules over and over again, this cranks the level up a notch by adding Artificial Intelligence and smart decision-making. An example can be seen in the forex market, where bots are used to help traders identify opportunities. The TopRatedForexBrokers site details what service the best forex robots can offer. For example, these robots work on a 24/5 basis by initiating trades, managing positions, and exiting trades. This saves the trader time in carrying out research and cuts out the risk of human error too. This site provides further detail on the core functions that the forex robots offer, which may be something to think about for those considering the benefits of using these types of services.
Collaborative Robot Applications to Make a Bigger Impact
Until recently, it was mainly large companies with huge technology budgets that were making most of the progress in the switch towards automated processes. Smaller companies were left out of this revolution, due to the cost of this cutting-edge technology. However, the emergence of collaborative robot applications has helped to introduce many of the main benefits to smaller companies. Often called cobots, these are machines that bring a low-cost approach to automation that puts it firmly within the reach of smaller businesses.
They can be used for varied tasks such as assembly, welding, moving and packaging. According to the International Federation of Robotics, cobots make up just 3% of all robots used in the business world just now, but this is likely to grow significantly as more companies become aware of their potential.
With technology advancing all the time and more decision-makers understanding the benefits of greater automation, 2021 could prove to be the most exciting year in this field to date.