School Zone: Robotics for Your Childby Helmy Sa'at
We want the best for our kids. No doubt, when the only constant in the world is change, we have to keep our eyes peeled to be better informed as parents. Instead of letting our kids be passive consumers of the latest technology, why not start them off early when it comes to learning opportunities to better appreciate (and better prepared for) the technology of today, specifically robotics. It is a branch of engineering that produces machines with the ability to execute the work and tasks that humans do.
Robotics would inevitably pave the way for tomorrow’s technological advancements. And it is not limited to just industrial applications, such as the often associated mental images conjured in our minds of a factory setting. Instead, it has seeped into almost every aspect of our lives encompassing from the very mundane to extremely complicated fields.
Our kids, as the next generation, are to inherit the world that is persistently experiencing tidal changes that challenge mankind’s agility to adapt and survive. Thus, the following should serve as an impetus to spark that conversation with your kids for further exploration worthy of conscious investments in time and resources.
Running Robotics In Our Lives
Robotics has inspired innovations and been applied in diverse settings. Due to its varied applications compounded by our expectations on how technology is to be used, which makes our collective lives easier, we have come to take it for granted by unconsciously tapping into it. Take the robotic floor cleaner, no matter the brand, as an example. Such devices that aid in our daily household chores controlled simply through an app on our smartphones, have been made possible through robotics. Sure, that could be deemed as totally uninteresting to spark interest; however, it serves as a simple yet familiar introduction to robotics in your child’s life.
Another marked transformational significance has been evident in the medical field. A more complex application of robotics is through the development of an exoskeleton. A mechanical suit that allows a disabled individual to not be limited by their physical limitations shaped by bodily disabilities. The ability to take a few more steps, offering freedom physically and mentally. That is amazing! Life-changing ramifications made possible through applications of robotics.
Many innovations in the medical field have been achieved with robotics. An aspiration to work in the medical field warrants an understanding of the intersectionality of medicine and technology. For instance, with robotic assistance medical surgeries are afforded extremely precise cuts leading to less blood loss, thus minimising pain experienced by recovering patients. This results in a truly speedy recovery that is not just some typical empty sentiments of well wishers printed on cards. The medical robots market alone is projected to reach USD$16.74 billion by 2023 . Current estimates project a minimum of 15 percent growth by 2028, with the robotics sector anticipated to generate revenue in excess of USD$20 billion. Its growth rate is truly astronomical in scale and meaning when it comes to advancement of human life, literally.
Robotics is truly out of this world. It has literally taken man out of this world with our explorations of new frontiers encompassing the deep oceans to the infinite outer space. The latter has been accelerated in recent years with billionaires pouring their wealth driven by ballooning ego into the space race. A silver lining of this space race has been the greater opportunities to go where no one has gone before. Space explorations have been facilitated by sophisticated robots. Back on Earth, the oceans comprise approximately 70 percent of this planet we all call home; however, more than 80 percent remains unexplored still! There are marine resources left to be tapped, responsibly, with the use of exploratory robots. More opportunities for the next generation to pivot their attention.
Wired: No More Running And Hiding
As the tidal waves of change, metaphorically and literally, sweep the planet, our kids need to learn more than just the facts of climate catastrophe they have inherited. It is our duty to equip them with the necessary skills in utilising technology to cope with such challenges. Just like climate emergency, robotics is no longer a hobby to be nurtured as technology becomes a necessity for survival. The opportunities to redeem ourselves here are immense. Robotics could facilitate green energy through renewable energy output production, such as building and maintaining solar power, wind and hydroelectric systems besides monitoring industrial greenhouse gasses emissions.
There is no lack of histrionic warnings ranging from how robots are taking away jobs to artificial intelligence threatening mankind’s existence. Yet, it remains a brutally transparent fact that sophisticated technological advancements are here to stay. It is a hard pill to swallow, but a necessary evil for collective betterment in advancing forward. It is more than just about the inventions and innovations of what robotics could help us achieve. It is about the human-to-robot relationship which has shifted centrestage.
How comfortable are you in letting your child know that there is no escape from robotics in their future? Do not forget to share your thoughts in the comments section below.