It may be hard to believe, but we now live in a world where top robotics companies are now creating amazing robotic creations that were the dreams of science fiction just a few decades ago.
This is an exciting and a scary time to be alive.
Who would have thought even five years ago that we would be living in a world where talking robots could appear on the Jimmy Fallon show and actually converse with the host?
Robots Really are the Future – As Well As the Present
We often think of robots as being part of some indeterminate future, but really, they have been part of our present for a long time now.
Robots, for example, have been used by the automotive industry since the early 1960s. The very first industrial robot to be used by an automotive manufacturer was called UNIMATE, which was set up in the New Jersey plant of General Motors in 1962.
In the automotive industry alone, around 70,000 new robots were put in place in 2013, and that number will only grow.
We will be seeing more and more robots in all areas of our lives soon, from foodservice to social robots to even more powerful industrial robots.
A Look at Some of the Top Robotics Companies
What are today’s top robotics companies doing?
Many large companies such as Google and Sony are getting into the robotics game, but there are also a lot of companies that focus solely on robotics that are doing really amazing things.
Many smaller robot startups are also being bought by larger companies. For example, The company Prox Dynamics originally created tremendous innovation with their military-grade drone technology, and so in 2016, FLIR Systems bought the company.
Here is an overview of some of the exciting trends and innovations happening now in the amazing world of modern robotics:
On YouTube and DailyMotion, you have probably seen video of those creepy animal-like robots that look like something out of a Terminator movie. They are designed and made by Boston Dynamics, a company that was spawned from scientists at MIT (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Some of their memorable robots include dog-like robots (Spot and SpotMini) that can even open doors for each other. The SandFlea is an innocuous looking little robot that might be a kid’s toy – until you see it jump from ground level to the top of a building and back.
iRobot was really the first company to put a commercial robot into the homes of everyday people with their robot vacuum cleaner, the Roomba. iRobot did not invent the robovac, and they have a lot of competition these days from many other companies making robot vacuum cleaners.
However, iRobot gets the credit for making a commercially viable robot. Now, they also sell robot mops called Braava and robot pool cleaners called Mirra.
Rethink Robotics created a new paradigm in robotic automation with their launch of the robot Baxter in 2012. This working robot really does look like something out of a science fiction film with a touchscreen face (complete with two eyes) and its more mechanical robot arms.
Baxter can learn tasks by watching humans. Unlike other automation robots, Baxter does not need to be caged because it works safely with human beings. Baxter handles a lot of menial, repetitive tasks such as packaging and line loading.
If you own a driverless car someday, you may have Starsky Robotics to thank. However, if you are a truck driver by trade, then you might not want to thank them just yet.
Right now, Starsky Robotics is building “autonomous trucks” – some of which are currently in operation. Now, truck drivers aren’t completely put out of work with Starsky Robotics autonomous trucks – the “drivers” would operate the trucks remotely for the very first and last miles of the trip.
More Top Robotics Companies Will Be Making Waves Soon
Robotics is such a dynamic and exciting field right now, that more top robotics companies will be coming to the forefront soon.
With endless applications for robotics, from medicine to hard labor, robotics is only just getting started as an industry. From robots in the home to robots in outer space, we are sure to see some amazing advances in robotic technology in the years to come.