Robots have a long track record of causing a disruption, but can recovery Robots bring smiles post-COVID-19?
Industries have embraced robots with open arms but in terms of actual personal experiences of robots in real life, the reviews still stand mixed. Though consumers complain that they find the robot experience slightly intimidating and, in some cases, people feel that interacting with robots is more like playing with a toy rather than an integrated technology that could make life’s better!
Adopting robots with open arms have their challenges, ever wondered why? It is because customer’s homes are tough to navigate which means they have narrow staircases, living rooms surrounded by furniture, pets, children and appliances here and there. Personal robot assistants aimed for use in the home is challenging to work in. Though robot manufacturers say that broadening robot assistants for use in designated spaces like offices, stores, and hospitals are comparatively easy.
Attempting to make a robot appear “human” is another mistake that companies often tend to make. Though we have not reached to that levels of sophistication, industries often end up making human-like robots which can be uncomfortable for many people at home to co-exist.
In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, robots are being called upon to help mitigate the risk. The ultimate goal is to identify robots which can help to create cleaner, safer human interactions and uplift the digital experience of the masses.
The Personal Robotic Revolution
The utilization of personal robots has thus far have been very broad. Personalised robots like Temi have been linked to the vending machines enabling workers to help buy their snacks, which can be retrieved and delivered by Temi. In restaurants, Temi can be deployed to help the restaurant managers confirm reservations and guide diners to their tables. In hotels, Temi can be the first point of contact, assisting guests to check-in and guide them to their rooms offering them recommendations on local dining or attractions.
Temi robot’s interactions are designed that have a human feel, particularly because they come embedded with Alexa which makes them feel highly familiar and comfortable to a customer. That makes them more comfortable talking to Temi and exploring its pool of services, including buying things directly with their voice the only remarkable difference being the hardware is more responsive which can move with them.
The greatest application of personal robots like the Temi robot lies in hospitals, where the majority of injuries occur helping patients with mobility and increased range of motion.
Gal Goren, the founder and CEO of Temi says, “So today, we have hospitals that have smart devices attached to the bed that can sense five minutes before a patient is going to wake up, that device connects to Temi, which then arrives in the room while the patient is getting up and gives instructions like don’t get out of bed until the nurse arrives. Or it can open a video stream of the nurse directly to the patient.”
The personalized services, he added, are complementary and ultimately offer a more customised interaction without requiring added manpower.
Robotics Enabled Future
There is often a concern that Cobots may move to replace human workers. A fear which is being felt at industries of late that mechanised robots have been automating and replacing human beings causing serious dangers to rising unemployment levels.
If we speak about personal robots, the situation is a little more complicated. Gal Goren from Temi asserts that the personal robots cannot just replace the retail clerk in a store, the server in a restaurant or the nurse on rounds. The goal, he said, is, “Simply to distribute the work smarter and more efficiently so that robots are doing things that digitize well, like answering questions, delivering small items, opening up connection points and managing transactions. That doesn’t replace human workers; it frees them up to do the kinds of direct “hands-on” services that human workers are necessary for, enabling the provision of improved service for more patrons.”
“Like any kind of new technology, it takes time to educate the market and for it to penetrate,” he said. “I tend to think 2020 and the post-COVID-19 world will be the first milestone in that direction. And I do not doubt that 2021 will be critical in the field of service robots because companies that capture and blend the robotics market with others in 2020 and 2021 will emerge as market leaders later.”