The combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and industrial or collaborative robotics has the potential to change the world. AI unlocks entirely new capabilities for robots, which, without AI, are rigid and unresponsive to the world around them.
The potential for disruption in the industrial sector is high. Despite the fact that industrial processes are already highly automated, there are still plenty of ways in which industrial robots can be improved with the addition of AI.
Types of Industrial and Collaborative Robotic Learning
A robot’s ability to learn is directly related to its overall capabilities. The three main types of robotic learning involve supervised learning, unsupervised learning and reinforcement learning. Each varies in complexity, but the purpose is the same in all three learning methods.
Supervised learning is simply pattern recognition – feeding a robot data that it is then supposed to learn whatever pattern is intended by the instructors. Unsupervised learning doesn’t involve any specific task, it simply involves feeding a robot massive amounts of data, hoping it will start to understand the world around it. Reinforcement learning involves giving a robot or system a goal and allowing it to learn how to reach that goal.
3 Trends to Watch in AI & Robotics
While there are many futuristic scenarios in which you can imagine AI and robotics technology, there are a few present-day applications to keep an eye on. These 3 trends will be major factors in the development of AI and robotics technology.
- Robot Training: AI is making robots easier to train, which in turn makes them a more viable investment for smaller companies as it reduces the cost of installation, training and ongoing programming. Robots like Baxter and Sawyer from Rethink Robotics can be trained by simply guiding their arms a few times – it learns through demonstration and programs the correct motion itself. The easier it is to teach a robot new things, the more it can learn.
- 3D Vision: Even the simplest tasks a robot performs will depend on 3D machine vision to feed data into AI technology. Grasping an object, for example, without pre-determined locations and motions would be impossible without machine vision capable of reconstructing a 3D image, and AI to translate this visual information into a successful action on the part of the robot.
- Cloud Robotics: Robotic deep learning using image classification and speech recognition often relies on huge datasets with millions of examples. AI requires more data than can realistically reside on most local systems. In this way, advances in cloud robotics are necessary for the advancement of AI and robotics technologies. Cloud robotics allows intelligence to be shared across all robots in a connected environment.
Robot training, 3D vision and cloud robotics are 3 key trends in the development of AI and robotics technologies, regardless of whether they’re used for industrial or collaborative applications.
AI has radical potential when it comes to changing the way robotics technology operates inside and outside of factories across the world. While AI is still in its infancy, it’s likely to disrupt, and improve, the way robots operate.
To get a deeper dive on AI and robotics technology, read our free industry insights article, “Why AI Won’t Overtake the World, but is Worth Watching.”