The Enduring Risk of Robots in the Public Sphere

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By David Lobina | 1Q 2022 | IN-6492


The Pandemic and Some of Its Lesser Well-Known Effects on Robotics


One of the most visible side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the acceleration of automation solutions. Many industries have seen great increases in workforce automation during the pandemic, a trend already ramping up in previous years and which has augmented greatly as a result of the pandemic, especially in robotics. A less well-known effect has been some of the conditions for research and development that lockdowns have brought about. All of a sudden, lockdowns presented deserted cities all over the world, and a specific set of conditions offered a great opportunity for the planning and development of technologies such as self-driving vehicles and the use of mobile robots in public spaces. Indeed, one of the problems that the deployment of robots in public spaces has encountered in the past is that these technologies struggle with heavily unstructured environments. Mobile robots do well in grid-like structures, with mostly flat surfaces and very few obstacles around, which are ideally not unknown and unrecognizable. However, most cities in …

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