In an era where robots are both fascinating and feared, Boston Dynamics CEO Robert Playter sheds light on the future role of robots in the workforce. While concerns about human job replacement persist, Playter assures that robots will take on jobs that are tedious or ill-suited for humans. Industrial robots will tackle monotonous tasks that people don’t excel at or would rather avoid.
Boston Dynamics, a renowned robotics design and engineering company, has developed one of their most famous robots, Spot, to perform these types of jobs. Spot, a four-legged robot dog known for its fluid movement, is deployed on a large scale for tasks like factory inspection at Nestle Purina. Additionally, Spot is utilized in situations that are too dangerous or unsafe for humans, such as navigating nuclear power plants or serving warrants to potentially dangerous suspects.
However, the process of developing robots is both time-intensive and capital-intensive. It took at least $100 million and years of work to create Spot. The challenge lies in not only developing a functional robot but also finding scalable use cases that drive widespread adoption. The robot must serve a real need, whether it’s cost or efficiency savings, to ensure successful integration into various industries.
Contrary to popular belief, having a robot maid in our homes may still be a decade or two away. Playter highlights the complexity of building robots, emphasizing the need for constant iteration and improvement. While some companies claim to be launching humanoid robots in the near future, Playter urges caution, calling such claims mere exaggerations.
Although Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been bullish about robotics, Playter believes his concerns may be overstated. While Musk possesses the necessary resources to make significant advancements, Playter questions certain aspects of his approach, particularly prioritizing safety over the strength and power of robots.
Despite these differing perspectives, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) may drive the robotics industry forward. Boston Dynamics is actively working on integrating Spot with Open AI’s ChatGPT, combining AI as the brain and the robot as the body to revolutionize business and create an entirely new industry.
Q: What types of jobs will robots take on?
A: Robots will handle monotonous and tedious tasks that humans don’t excel at or prefer to avoid.
Q: How is Boston Dynamics’ Spot being deployed?
A: Spot is being deployed for factory inspection at Nestle Purina and in dangerous or unsafe situations, such as nuclear power plants or serving warrants to potentially dangerous suspects.
Q: What are the challenges in developing robots?
A: Developing robots is a time-intensive and capital-intensive process, requiring constant iteration and improvement. It is crucial to find scalable use cases that drive widespread adoption.
Q: How long until we have robot maids in our homes?
A: Building robots for domestic use is a complex process, and Playter estimates it will still take around 10 to 20 years to have robot maids in our homes.
Q: What is the role of AI in the robotics industry?
A: AI serves as the brain while the robot serves as the body. The integration of AI has the potential to revolutionize business and create a new industry.