The U.S. is missing out. It has a much different view of robots than the rest of the world. America has the technology for in-home robots, but just isn’t ready to accept it, possibly due to seeing too many Terminator movies. The worry is that the robots will replace workers for jobs or, worse yet, gain enough intelligence to take over.
Meanwhile, Japan, South Korea and Europe have developed robots to teach kindergarten, care for seniors and entertain people. South Korea is even working to have a robot in every home by 2020.
Roboticist Richard Alan Peters, a professor at Vanderbilt University explains the difference in philosophy this way, “[Japan] develops machines for their culture, to work with them. America develops machines that will do the work for them.” While Japan has been selling robots to consumers for decades, most robots in the U.S. have been made for military use and industrial work.
So what is the U.S. missing out on? Well, the robotics market is projected to reach $19.4 billion by 2020. Designing robots is a massive opportunity to use CAD for a booming industrial and commercial application. 3D design is required to shape robotic components and advanced engineering is needed to make sure all the components work correctly. As the world’s largest CAD market, the U.S. is missing out right now on this opportunity.
Robot In Your Pocket
Enter Tomotaka Takahashi. This renowned Japanese robot creator has partnered with Sharp to create RoBoHoN, a robot smartphone that fits in your pocket or purse. It’s set to launch in Japan in early 2016. While there is no word yet on U.S. availability, Takahashi believes that designing small, cute robots that people want to interact with will help to bridge the gap for Americans to accept robots. Eventually, Takahashi hopes, RoBoHoN will be as accepted and popular as the iPhone.
While the phone’s features are similar to other smartphones, RoBoHoN talks to you and takes your commands. It moves, waves, dances, walks and has a projector so you can view emails and images or watch movies on a clear surface. It even recognizes human faces. All of its features are voice controlled as it’s designed to “feel more like a companion than a device.” It will “remember” interactions and conversations to help its relationship “grow” with you.
The key here will be to make it marketable to adults. The current version of RoBoHoN may be too “cute” to be seen as a daily communication device. However, if its creators can take the useful aspects of the robot and highlight those, while still making them seem harmless, they may be on to something.
CAD Design Opportunities in Robotics
The robot design process has evolved as demand for robots in the workplace has increased (mostly manufacturing and assembly). 3D CAD solutions are keeping pace. That means any country that starts making robots aggressively presents serious intellectual and financial opportunities for CAD firms. CAD companies and professionals will be needed to design, build and engineer the components for robots.
And if the U.S. embraces robots further, CAD design opportunities will explode to build robots that are capable of dealing with people as opposed to other robots and computers. Some of the “brain” capabilities are developing and available in services like Apple’s Siri and Amazon Echo. CAD design could provide the “body” and movement capabilities.
What are you thoughts on robots from a CAD design perspective? What opportunities do you see? Tell us in the comments below.
Image source: ITMedia.co,jp