Machines have been a part of human reality for a long time, however the industrial revolution marked a major breakthrough in the use of machinery and machines. At that time, their significance and importance was recognised generally, but people reacted in very different ways: some viewed machines as a threat, while others saw promising opportunities in them.
According to the International Lifesaving Federation, 1.2 million people around the world die by drowning every year. With most of these incidents happening during warmer seasons as people flock to the water
In the ubiquitous world, people will communicate with each other (man-man) and machines with people (man-machine), however, machines (including robots) will also communicate with each other (machine-to-machine). The number of devices involved in machine-to-machine communications is expected to grow exponentially until, by 2020, the number of ‘smart objects’ able to talk to each other and to inter-operate with humans will reach around 50 billion.
The greatest OSH benefits stemming from the wider use of robotics should be substitution for people working in unhealthy or dangerous environments. In space, defence, security, or the nuclear industry, but also in logistics, maintenance and inspection, autonomous robots are particularly useful in replacing human workers performing dirty, dull or unsafe tasks, thus avoiding workers’ exposures to hazardous agents and conditions and reducing physical, ergonomic and psychosocial risks. For example, robots are already used to perform repetitive and monotonous tasks, to handle radioactive material or to work in explosive atmospheres.
Self-driving cars is what everybody is excited about. But there are lots of autonomous systems navigating the physical world, and more to come.
The race to create self-driving cars has become a gold rush by both automotive and technology giants. Google wants to launch driverless cars in 2018. Nissan has given a 2020 date for their own versions. Auto majors such as Audi, BMW and Daimler buying Nokia’s HERE Maps division to ready them for future. There will be many more coming in the future.