Sascha Dobbelaere, founder and CEO at Tweave, gives his predictions for the role of robotics and automation in 2024. Tweave specialises in optimising business results digitally by developing intelligent software tools and supporting change.
As we begin a new year, one of the big questions in the tech industry is what 2024 will be for robotics and automation. Both are rapidly evolving and transforming various industries. From manufacturing and healthcare to transportation and household tasks, robotics and automation are crucial in streamlining processes and increasing efficiency. So, what can we expect to see in robotics and automation in the next few years?
Rise in Automation
It’s predicted that by the end of 2024, there will be a 60% growth in global automation investments. A diverse array of sectors, from healthcare to retail to manufacturing, are harnessing the power of automation to streamline operations, slash costs and amplify productivity.
In the retail sector, checkout systems are already widely used. Still, as we move towards 2024, we could see an even more seamless shopping experience with a focus on sustainability and retaining customer brand loyalty a focus. With robot-assisted surgery becoming a reality within healthcare – automation is set to change our daily lives in ways we might not yet realise.
From the voice-activated assistant who helps us control our smart home to the algorithm that decides what content we see on social media – 2024 and automation will transform not just how we work but how we live, how we interact and how we perceive the world around us.
Increase in Collaborative Robots
Industry insiders expect a boom in the ‘cobot’ – collaborative robots market over the next 12 months.
Unlike traditional industrial robots, cobots will not replace humans but work alongside us. Cobots, our new co-workers, are built to share our workspace, learning from us, adapting to us, and ultimately enhancing our workflows. This human-robot synergy makes cobots an exciting prospect in the world of automation.
Machine learning, the ability for machines to learn from experience and improve, will also see new heights of development. The more cobots learn from their human colleagues, the more intelligent they become, and the smarter they become, the more versatile their applications.
Expansion of Artificial Intelligence
Last year saw a major AI revolution, which will be supercharged over the next 12 months by robotics and automation. I fully expect the next year to be the year AI redefines possibilities for robots, making them more self-reliant, intelligent, and capable of more complex decision-making and problem-solving.
The exciting union of AI and robotics could mean the creation of robots that aren’t just tools but colleagues capable of learning, adapting, and evolving – transforming robots from machines that follow instructions to entities capable of independent thought and decision-making. It is feasible for warehouse bots to optimise workflows or autonomous vehicles to navigate roads precisely.
The beauty of AI is in its potential to learn and adapt, to sift through vast amounts of data and extract meaningful insights, to learn from experience and continuously improve. This transformative technology will take robotics to the next level – introducing robots capable of interacting with their environment, understanding complex situations, and making smart decisions.
Advancements in Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is gearing up for a game-changing transformation – and 2024 could make it a reality where software robots, or ‘bots’, are not just automating mundane tasks but are also intelligently understanding and analysing data.
RPA technology will be a secret weapon for businesses as it can do repetitive tasks, freeing human employees to focus on more complex and creative aspects of their roles. By automating tasks like data entry, email responses, and even complex decision-making processes, RPA increases productivity, reduces errors, saves precious time – and ultimately increases profits.
By the end of 2024, we’ll likely see ‘bots’ capable of doing tasks and understanding them. Through advanced algorithms and machine learning, they will be able to make sense of data, identify patterns, and make predictive analyses.
Societal Impact and Ethical Considerations
As we venture towards 2024, we must consider the advances of robotics and automation and the societal and ethical implications they may bring. Like a double-edged sword, these technologies can disrupt industries positively and negatively.
Robotics and automation are set to perform tasks faster and more accurately, which could lead to job displacement in specific sectors. However, rather than focusing on what skills and jobs are lost – we will adjust and new job roles will emerge, which might require new and unique skill sets.
As robotics and automation become ubiquitous, ethical considerations also come into play. With vast amounts of data being processed, data privacy and security will be paramount in an increasingly connected world.
While these technologies promise to simplify our lives, they also underline the need for stringent policies to ensure ethical practices. As we progress towards this technologically advanced future, transparency, privacy, and security mustn’t be compromised.
The challenge for 2024 is that we focus on more than just advancing technology but also responsibly supporting the advancement.