Robots and Robotics: What you need to know

Robots and Robotics

Operating along a spectrum of human controlled to semi-autonomous to totally independent, robots are already operating in our world. They save lives in hospitals, are taking the place of humans in dangerous jobs, improve our oil exploration and farming, endure the hazards of outer space and now fight our wars. Soon they will make driving safe.

A snapshot of the trend right now indicates:

  • Robotic and AI technologies are growing more affordable, more capable and easier to use.
  • By 2019, 35 percent of non-manufacturing businesses in several sectors will be using robotics to automate other aspects of their operations. Those sectors will include logistics, health, utilities and resources, according to the research firm IDC.
  • Among IDC’s other top 10 robotics predictions are: 1) growing use of a “robot-as-a-service” business model; 2) more enterprises with chief robotics officers; 3) an increasingly competitive robotic vendor marketplace; 4) growing demand for employees with robotics-related skills; 5) increased robotics regulations for safety, security and privacy; 6) more cloud-based robotic software; 7) development of smarter, faster and more “collaborative” robots; 8) a rise in commercial robots that are connected to an intelligent mesh network; and 9) greater use of robots in e-commerce-related warehouses and deliveries.
  • Robotic vehicles are coming, faster than many realize. Estimates are that robotic drivers will displace more jobs than any other category in the workforce.
  • More than 60% of surveyed Americans say they are somewhat or very positive about autonomous cars. But safety is still a concern. Currently 63% of consumers say they won’t feel safe in a fully-automated vehicle. We believe those numbers will shift in the favor of automation with time.

Open questions decision-makers should track include:

  • Will job displacement be a crisis?
  • How hard will it be to deceive robots? Will that make hacking even easier?
  • What is the role of behavioral analytics in detecting normalcy in robots?

The threat dynamics around the trend towards internet connected robotics center around protecting the robots from unauthorized access. With the many use cases for robotics, the danger of this access is terribly varied. It may be time to propose a 5th law of robotics: No robot will have an unauthorized controller.

We track the latest on Robotics and all the other major mega trends of technology in the Things Cyber Tech Landscape section. The megatrends we track there are:

  • Artificial Intelligence: Tracking the future of thinking machines large and small, including the AI enabled systems used by your smartphone.
  • Cloud Computing: Powerful centralized computing delivering new capabilities like software as a service and most of the ecommerce and social media services we all use today.
  • Mobile Computing: Connected super-computers in your hand giving people ESP-like super powers. Our smartphones now ship with dozens of high end sensors and those are only increasing.
  • Big Data Analytics: Making sense of incredible amounts of data, including data generated and used by robotics and the IoT.
  • Robotics: Automating every task that can be, creating, and disrupting jobs. This includes, by the way, disrupting entertainment (see Jimmy Fallon and his robots).
  • Internet of Things: Everything will have a chip and communicate with everything else, and how we optimize this will help ensure the IoT is focused on what we want.
  • Cybersecurity: Evil will aways be lurking. We must all reduce our risks in this connected world. this includes a need for cybersecurity on every

And be sure to find and follow us on Twitter to continue the dialog. We are at @ThingsCyber

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