Launched in Milton Keynes, Starship Technologies created autonomous robots in partnership with restaurants and stores to deliver goods to customer’s doors. Once parcels are delivered to a depot, customers receive a notification and can then select a delivery time. The robots deliver parcels straight to the home of the customer using ultrasonic sensors, nine cameras, radar, and GPS. This is all possible using a £7.99 monthly subscription and app.
The NHS will be working with The Versius robot created by Cambridge based company CMR Surgical. The robotic system will be an easily installed and flexible system that surgeons can use to perform operations on patients as they will be able to control robotic arms and joints from a console. The Versius was built to rival the American da Vinci system, an existing robotic surgical apparatus.
Although the UK lags behind the rest of Europe, as of 2015, the country still had 10 robots for every million hours worked. Industries using robots to create products include car manufacturing, retail and agriculture.
Robots have been used in railway and train maintenance. Although robotics have been used in rail manufacturing for years, implementing robots into vehicle maintenance is a new step in using robots in the railway industry. In the future, Japanese company Hitachi has predicted that robots will be used all over UK train stations to guide passengers.
Taking inspiration from Japan who arguably lead on robotics in care, public health lecturer Dr Chris Papadopoulos has organised the largest trial of robots in UK care homes. Propelled by a shortage of carers for the elderly, the project, run by Advinia Health Care aims to use social humanoid robots to care for residents in homes. This comes at a time when short staff numbers have been failing the elderly.
In the UK, people are wary and worried about robots replacing humans in jobs, making it even harder to make a living, or that artificial intelligence will amass an uncontrollable amount of knowledge and enslave us all, I, Robot Style. However, it’s important to remember that like all technology, robots can really help propel us into a future where we work more meaningful jobs, navigate tasks easier and possibly have unlimited sources for companionship.