How Robotics Can Address the Dull, Dirty, and Dangerous

“We hope that the feelings of humanity will lead those …in power, to prevent the use of machines, to give every discouragement they can to what has a [prejudice] to their fellow-creatures.” – Joseph HP Lobley

Penning a letter at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, laborer Joseph Lobley implored his local municipality to reject the advent of industrial machinery. While robotics and automation have no doubt evolved tremendously in the last 200 years, the concerns regarding the impact of robotics is largely the same. Tomahawk Robotics is one of many companies hoping to tip the scales of this ongoing discussion to a more positive tone, by demonstrating how society can benefit from new technology addressing the three D’s of robotic applications: Dull, Dirty, and Dangerous.

Automation on the Farm

While the self-driving car is the poster child of the automation for the automotive world, an overlooked and envious technology is the driverless tractor, which has been put to great use to improve the productivity of farms all across the world. Companies like John Deere, ASI and Bear Flag Robotics are expanding the supply and reducing the cost of food through the application of technology.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that the global population will increase to 9.7 billion by 2050, and to meet that demand, farmers must produce 70% more food than current production. It stands to reason that if machines can be used to complete the repetitive, daunting tasks to meet these global demands, they should be. Modern farming technology means sensors can assess weather conditions with the ability to collect and synthesize data on a 24/7 basis. Day-to-day farming operations will grow in efficiency, all the while lowering operational costs and ultimately expanding access to food for people across the world.

Robotics in Public Safety and Defense

The role that robotics has played in manufacturing has grown significantly over the last several decades. As robotics hardware and software grew in sophistication and functionality, it isn’t a surprise that this technology was soon leveraged by the security and defense sector.

Tomahawk Robotics is working to provide tools to public safety and military professionals to improve the precision and safety of their jobs via an intuitive and portable human-machine interface.  This is embodied with the Kinesis Mobile app and the companion, hand-held accessory controller called Mimic. Kinesis also enables users to combine information from networked cameras with robotic systems to support public safety and military missions.

Technologies like Kinesis and Mimic can play a meaningful role in repetitive, unenviable, and high-risk jobs. Organizations can improve the effectiveness of their people through the use of technology. Kinesis doesn’t eliminate the need for a human behind the wheel – it simply helps eliminates the three D’s.

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