Title

Robotic Realities: Near Term Prospects and Problems

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

11-1983

Abstract

Industrial robots are automation, but with a difference. Other machine tools are extensions of human capabilities, while robots are seen mainly as substitutes for human workers. Robots will find most of their industrial applications during the next decade or two in the metal-working sectors, where they will begin to displace semiskilled machine operatives in medium to large batch production operations. They cannot substitute for skilled machinists or other workers doing nonroutine jobs, or specialized, dedicated hard automation used in mass production. The current generation of robots, lacking sensory data processing and interpretation capabilities, can potentially replace up to 1.3 million manufacturing jobs. The next generation, with crude vision or tactile senses; will potentially displace about 3 million more. However, only relatively large firms can profitably utilize many robots at present; it may be 20 years or more before these usage rates are achieved in practice. A shift from stand-alone machine tools, to manufacturing cells consisting of several machine tools served by a robot and controlled by a computer, will accelerate the practical use of robots in the 1990s.

Discipline

Computer Sciences | Robotics

Research Areas

Information Systems and Management

Publication

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

Volume

470

Issue

1

First Page

28

Last Page

55

ISSN

0002-7162

Identifier

10.1177/0002716283470001004

Publisher

American Academy of Political and Social Science

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0002716283470001004