The Acceleration Of The Robotic Journey

Although predictions these days may be even more difficult given our complex systems are progressing and scaling at an unprecedented rate, a macro-level focus can provide an ability to scan beyond the horizon. So rather than attempt to predict, here are my 2019 thoughts on several macro-level forces.

Frank Diana – What to Expect in 2019

That quote comes from a post I wrote to usher in 2019. One of those macro-level forces was acceleration (the other two were convergence and a burst of possibilities). As we close 2021, acceleration is all around us, but in 2019, no one knew that a pandemic would enable a great acceleration. There are countless examples of how the pandemic pulled possible futures forward, and one such example is robotics. In a recent article, Greg Nichols says that there is no denying we’re in the midst of a robotic renaissance, as industries like construction and delivery reach a tipping point.

The other day, I shared videos of everyday robots, and yesterday we learned that scientists developed living robots that reproduce. These advances highlight Mr. Nichols point that it’s an exciting moment in robotics. The article provides insight from a survey of some of the most respected and innovation-minded executives shaping the world of automation on what they expect in 2022 and beyond. See the article for a description of these six predictions:

  • Interoperability is the next big hurdle
  • Creativity in robotics will flourish
  • Robots will really deliver
  • Tech-enabled recycling
  • Robots take to sidewalks
  • Adoption is a given

We know Tesla is pursuing humanoid robots, and companion robots got an accelerating boost from Covid-19. In discussing the roll of companion robots, Hanson Robotics CEO David Hanson told Reuters that “Sophia and Hanson robots are unique by being so human-like, that can be so useful during these times where people are terribly lonely and socially isolated.” His company, Hanson Robotics, planned to roll out thousands of these robots. The aim was to roll out four models — including Sophia. Indeed, it’s an exciting time in robotics.


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