Businesses in Japan are the pioneers in using mobile robots in various business sectors today which includes distribution centers, auto manufacturing, pharmaceutical packaging, foundries and more.

Mobile Robotics: Understand The Advent, Present And Future Advancement

Poonam Sachin Gorade

Mobile robotics is the branch of science and technology wherein developers create mobile robots that are capable of moving in a physical environment. To control these robots, there are sensors, software, and other gears in order to evaluate the surroundings. This innovative product is a perfect amalgam of physical robotics and artificial intelligence, which permit them to do various tasks.

The two types of mobile robotics at present are non-autonomous and autonomous. Autonomous mobile robots do not need any guidance from an external source to navigate, whereas guided robots utilize some sort of guidance framework to travel; few others that are semi-stationary robots have limited range of motion.

Mobile robotics is emerging as a surprise in recent times as the organizations are considering artificial intelligence

Robotics is been utilized in the fulfillment centers and industrial system for a long time. But now, developers are looking for its applications in a system outside the industrial environment in various domains. The technology is referred to as a fast evolving and solution-focused industry, in which the system is a blend of various software, hardware, and advanced machine learning.

Markus Wulfmeier, Oxford Robotics Institute, stated, “The autonomous mobile robots of a new generation are the key players in driving the acceptance of mobile robotics in various industrial domains. The characteristics like enhanced localization, capability of mapping and prediction, and tracking features offer extra value in terms of productivity and efficiency gains.”

And we cannot forget key players such as Yaskawa, Clearpath Robotics, Swisslog, and Locus Robotics when we are talking about mobile robots.


The Emergence of Mobile Robotics

First thing is first! Advanced technologies such as mobile robotics require understanding and deep expertise in fields of hardware, embedded software development, and artificial intelligence. The software utilizes AI techniques gathering data via sensors and other such devices are capable of gathering data continuously similar to an autonomous car getting instructions. In the system, the hardware component performs the gathered driving instructions on a real car. This is how the system performs effectively, but the natural question which anyone can ask is—What kind of things we can do with the help of learning data?

The autonomous mobile robot is created using lots of things including perceptions, localization & mapping, planning, prediction & tracking, and control. In recent times, the awareness of a machine is heavily controlled by the technology of deep learning. Deep learning is a methodology having a huge part in various things like image recognition, object recognition, and many others. Earlier, manual efforts were taken. It was critical to effectively replace the hand engineering, and in this, deep machine learning or neural network has played an important role.


What Role Does Mobile Robot Play In Revolutionizing The World?

It’s been decades now; robots have worked continuously behind the scenes to enhance the productivity with a mere assistance from humans. But it was just a thing of past; however, the robots inspired by a future or sci-fi vision is still far to reach and is away from the less attractive functional role it has played in the manufacturing. But the advancement in mobile robotics has reached to an extent when we can see its various applications in diverse industrial sectors.

Electric machines are the first phase that was developed to execute specific tasks but they are not capable of interacting with real-world scenarios, just like the ones we’ve seen in movies.

The businesses from Japan are the pioneer in using the mobile robots in various business sectors today, which includes distribution centers, auto manufacturing, pharmaceutical packaging, foundries and more.


How Are Mobile Robots Fit For Daily Operations?

There are a lot of things people like about robotics; the primary thing is the automation of various tasks. The important question here is not about the capability of robots to fit in a real-world environment, but it is about what types of robots are best to fit in?

When people desired to develop an ideal mix of condition to activate the development of various sorts of automated equipment, for example, for various tasks of a distribution center, we cannot do much improvisation in that than the elements favoring robotics.

Omni-channel and E-commerce are the most significant domains which need huge labors to run effectively, but these workers are very hard to look for and retain. The scientists developing the robots understand the need to automate the things to lessen these complexities.

However, increasing demand for piece-picking need in e-commerce made the evolution of mobile robots fast as well, with less dependability on guidance system like walking on tape; instead utilize a smarter, onboard navigation.

The flexibility provided to or by the AMRs of recent time makes them in-compliance with DCs. The term AMR (Automated Mobile Robot) refers to explaining of the self-driving nature. Experts say, logistics facilities are a fast evolving environment, more specifically in relation to the warehouse that is control and managed by a 3rd party, who are working on contract. These parties do not want their automated operation in such a way that it makes it hard to change or improve in the future or whenever required.

For an efficient use of mobile robotics, features like autonomy and flexibility are a great thing to achieve, but there are a few complexities to consider while trying to access all the options, which include:

  1. What are the diverse types of robotics available and what type of workflow they support?

  2. How does the mobile robot work in compliance with human co-workers and traditional automated system?

  3. Along with Bot, what are the other elements people consider while selecting robots?


How Is Mobile Robotics Going To Influence Our Future?

The biggest question in our mind now is—How effectively will a robot influence our lives in the future? The question is somewhat not completely appropriate to ask, especially in today’s scenarios when robots are already playing an important role in changing our lives in numerous ways and they are doing this for years.

The first time when you have experienced the toaster pop by itself, we’ve unknowingly accepted the fact that we can trust on a machine to do things for us effectively. They cook our food, record our favorite shows, play our favorite music, and even run our vehicles. We just didn’t notice it, as these are the robots without a face and we cannot talk to them.

Technically speaking, robots are motorized devices working automatically. Currently, all modern technology is designed to convey the world to you, such as radio, phone, internet, television, etc; but as we are progressing, robots will soon bring the world to us, everywhere, with a striking speed. A mind and a hand are what you require to use it just by sitting safely at home and watch your favorite show.

When scientists successfully achieve it, mobile robots will not just change our lives; however, they will expand it to a greater level, and not just for entertainment or amusement but for utilities as well.

We have made very first step towards welcoming them in our hands in the form of virtual assistants, and the scientists are working towards making them more human to deal in a real-world environment through AI and Deep learning.

Don’t you agree with me?


About Poonam Sachin Gorade

Poonam follows a 5-year stint as a writer and editor of books, reports, special publications, and others at various organizations. Her love for writing brought her into the world of content. Her hobbies include reading books, writing on Quora, trekking, playing badminton, etc.  

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The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of RoboticsTomorrow

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