Sooner or later robots are going to take over the world.
We’ve all seen terminator. I’m pretty sure that’s where we’re headed.
Indeed, the industrial robotics market alone is predicted to grow 175% in the next 10 years.
It’s just a matter of time before we create sentient robots that decide humans are superfluous to requirements. When it happens, the best we can hope for is that they keep us as pets.
Anyway, ominous futures aside, robots aren’t all bad! In fact, there are many advantages of robots to remember too. Tech has come a long way, and life’s already being bettered by robotic support.
Looking to learn about the current advantages and disadvantages of robots? Keep reading for a comprehensive list of robotics advantages and disadvantages.
The Advantages of Robots
Let’s start with the good stuff. Here are all of the primary advantages of robots from which we humans stand to gain.
Heads up, you might also like this post about the advantages and disadvantages of television.
1. They Increase Production
It’s said that a monkey, tapping away on a typewriter forevermore, would eventually write the full works of Shakespeare.
Humans would do it faster. Go team human.
But robots would smash it out in moments. You just can’t compete with robot productivity. They’re designed for a job, and they don’t stop doing it unless they breakdown or you turn them off.
2. They’re More Accurate than Humans
I’m a mess in the morning.
With no caffeine in my system my brain literally won’t function. Give me a maths problem and I’d probably cry, or slap you, or both. I’d definitely get it wrong.
Robots suffer no such problem. They’re accurate to infinity. You calibrate their systems correctly and they don’t let you down.
3. They Make Fewer Mistakes
All that accuracy means they don’t make mistakes either.
Well, they might, but only if their human controller messed up first.
That’s good news for anyone in business. Robots don’t make mistakes! Humans do. We get flustered, crumble under pressure, forget stuff, or just get lazy, and errors ensue.
The same cannot be said for robots.
4. They Reduce Wastage
Mistakes lead to waste.
You have to throw stuff away and start again. Materials, money, and resources all-around get tossed in the trash (literally or metaphorically) and washed down the drain.
Robots waste very little. That makes them better for the environment and better for business.
5. They’re More Reliable than Humans
Employees don’t show up for work.
Friends are late for dinner dates.
Family-members forget to babysit your kids.
People have a nasty habit of being unreliable. You don’t know where you stand; there’s always the chance they’ll let you down.
Robots never will. They’re programmed for performance.
6. They Can Work 24/7
Did I mention that they don’t stop?
That productivity is no accident. Robots continue when humans have to take breaks. Robots keep at it when humans get sick, go on holiday, or seek a career change.
Robots can keep working, all day every day if you want them to.
7. They Save Time
Life is one big deadline.
And robotic efficiency and effectiveness mean you’re more likely to meet it.
Again, there are no mistakes and never-ending work. That all helps to save time at every turn.
8. They Don’t Complain
People are annoying.
They bitch and moan even if they have it easy. Someone can be sat on the couch with their feet up, the TV turned on, and drinking a coke, and they’ll still complain about something.
Meanwhile, Rob the robot’s been at their menial job 24/7 for the past month and never said a word.
Love robots? Well, you might be interested in my post about the advantages and disadvantages of science too!
9. They’re Easy to Understand
People are confusing.
They’re emotional, hormonal, deceitful, and two-faced. They’re impossible to understand sometimes.
At least you know where you’re at with robots. Sure, they might not smile much, but they’re predictable. You know what’s coming.
10. They Help Out In Surgery
Imagine playing Operation.
No matter how hard you try, how steady-handed you think you are, you inevitably end up shaking like a leaf in a gale.
Even the best surgeons in the world aren’t faultless.
Robots are being put to good work in the operating theatre to help. They hold things in place, light things up, enter different orifices, and more.
Oh, and the lack of mistakes they make comes in handy here too. People recover quicker from surgery and suffer less too.
11. They Can Do the Dirty Work
Let’s face it, people are lazy.
We don’t like getting our hands dirty- especially these days. We’d rather pay someone else to do it.
Robots don’t care. They’ll happily do whatever they’re tasked with. They do the stuff we don’t want to, and they’ll never complain about it
12. They Can Do the Dangerous Work
Same goes for the dangerous stuff.
Got a bomb to clear? Send the robots in. That means fewer casualties and unnecessary human injuries. Robots are handling risky business more and more in all areas of life.
13. They Can Do the Heavy Lifting
Some humans are incredibly strong.
I mean, look at the Mountain on Game of Thrones. That dude is a beast. I think his forearm is the same width as my thigh.
But he’d still be no match for a robot. They’re made of metal. They’re hard in the truest sense of the word and are designed to do the heavy lifting that average people just aren’t physically capable of doing.
14. They’re Fast Too
Robots get stuff done in a jiffy.
Remember, no breaks and no mistakes. More to the point, though, they’re mechanical.
Robots are designed and manufactured for specific tasks and have the tech required to whizz through them. If time is of the essence, then robots are what’s required.
15. They Can Do the Dull Stuff
Some work is boring AF.
Anyone who’s worked in admin knows that’s a fact.
Endless data entry is not what humans are designed for. It can, however, be precisely the task for which robots are designed. Again, they do the stuff that we don’t want to.
16. They Save Money
All the aforementioned benefits save cash in the long run.
Sure, they’re super expensive to buy upfront. But it’s a definite investment. You’ll be saving money in no time with robots at the helm.
17. They Can’t Say No (Yet)
Robots don’t have the luxury of being able to refuse your requests.
That’s good news for any authoritarians out there intent on having their orders followed. Bag yourself a bot and you’ll never face refusal again.
18. They’re Versatile
You can design a robot for almost any task.
Check out this video:
I don’t even know what task that robot’s completing. But it’s definitely impressive.
Bots can get places we can’t, take more suffering than we can, lift heavier stuff, do everything faster, and so on. They’re the ultimate way to get something, anything, done.
19. They Map Disaster Zones
Disaster zones are scary and dangerous places.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s one of the natural or man-made varieties. It’s best to steer clear of them. There’s now unmanned, flying robots that can be sent into these no-go zones and reveal what’s going on.
20. They’re Useful in Warfare
Warfare is an ugly business.
People die, including innocent ones.
Now, robots can be put to use in this regard too. That’s good news for your ‘team’ as it were. It means fewer soldier casualties and deaths.
Of course, robots can also be used to do the killing. That’s not quite as good if you’re impartial.
21. They Prevent Human Accidents
Accidents are often another form of mistake.
And we’ve already seen that robots are good at avoiding those.
Accidents happen with humans at the helm. In worst-case scenarios people get hurt. Put a robot in charge (or behind the wheel) and they can take the beating instead…or prevent it from happening in the first place.
22. They Create New Jobs for People
People often bemoan robots for stealing jobs.
In truth, though, they provide almost as many as they take. It’s just that the nature of the jobs that change. For instance, jobs in the coding and engineering industries are both important for designed and creating robots.
23. They Represent Human Progress
Imagine being born 100 years ago and being transported into 2020.
Robots are just one part of that. They represent another aspect of human progress.
24. They’re Central to Future Growth and Development
Likewise, they’re spearheading our journey into the future.
Robots are going to play an ever-increasing role in society. They’ll be at the helm, in one shape or form, of many areas of technological growth and development.
…Until they rise up and kill us all.
25. They Deliver Pizza!
That’s right, we’ve finally done it.
We’ve created a robot that will deliver your pizzas (or any food, for that matter). Here it is in action:
26. They’ll Milk Your Scorpion for You
This one’s a sign of things to come. There’s going to be a robot for everything.
There’s already one that’ll milk your scorpion for you. Yes, you read that correctly. And, no, it isn’t a euphemism. Extracting scorpion venom is dangerous business.
Thankfully, a robot will do it for you.
27. They’re Awesome for Space Research
Robots can go to space in a way that humans can’t.
They’re on Mars. They’re orbiting the planets. They’re being sent further and further into space.
Without them, our understanding of the universe and our place within it would be hugely reduced. Robots are simply a fundamental part of space exploration.
From the production of the spacecraft and technology inside them, to the actual exploration itself, robots have a key role all-round.
28. They’re Perfect for Research In General
The use of robots for research doesn’t stop at space exploration.
Heck, they’re used in almost every field to help in this regard. By virtue of their resilience and strength, they can go just about anywhere- to the depths of the ocean, into extreme heat or cold, and so on.
That makes them ideal for finding things out about things we would otherwise have no way of accessing.
29. They’re Really Cool
And, at the end of the day, robots are downright cool.
That’s one advantage of robots that’s hard to deny.
The Disadvantages of Robots
Onto the downsides of robots. Here are the robotics disadvantages that aren’t quite as enjoyable.
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1. They Lead Humans to Lose Their Jobs
Robots have a nasty habit of taking peoples’ jobs.
I mean, in a capitalist system business owners have to do what it takes to maximize profits. And the brutal efficiency of robots makes them perfect for the task.
Humans just can’t compete with a robot that can work 24/7 without making any mistakes. That fact can force people out of jobs they’ve done their entire lives.
2. They Need Constant Power
Robots need oodles of electricity to run.
That makes them expensive to run (more on this later) and potentially damaging to the environment.
Unless we shift over to greener sources of energy, the growing demand for robots in society could lead to additional issues with global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.
3. They’re Restricted to their Programming
Robots can’t think for themselves (yet).
They rely on clever humans to program them for specific tasks. And, though artificial intelligence and machine learning are coming on fast, this is a limiting factor in what Robots can do.
They can’t magic themselves up new capabilities at the drop of a hat. They can’t think outside the box, mould themselves to novel needs, or do anything other than the task for which they’re programmed.
4. The Perform Relatively Few Tasks
In a similar way, robots are only suited, as of now, for specific roles and responsibilities.
They come into their own in industry, research, medical practices, and the military. Outside of those domains, though, they have minimal practical usage.
Our day to day lives are slowly becoming more robot-centric. For now, though, there’s a way to go before we start putting robots to work around the house at scale.
5. They Have No Emotions
Robots don’t feel anything either.
They’re machines- clever chunks of metal with gears and gizmos keeping them ‘alive’. But they could never feel any emotion that would allow them to empathise with, or relate to, what we’re going through.
You could never sit down and have a heart to heart with a robot.
Sure, if the programming develops enough, then they might be able to say the right things, respond to particular cues, and react appropriately in a given situation.
But it wouldn’t be real! They wouldn’t actually be feeling anything beneath the surface.
6. They Impacts Human Interaction
Human interaction will suffer as robots become an increasing part of life.
Already, the rise of mobile phones has started this slippery slope. Just look around you in any public space and you see a mass of people staring at their screens.
We’re more connected via the internet than ever before, but more isolated, lonely, and depressed too. We risk forgetting what it means to have an actual, real-life, human interaction.
There’s every reason to believe that this is going to worsen as robots get an ever-greater role to play in daily life.
7. They Require Expertise to Set Them Up
Ask me to program a robot and I’d have no idea where to start.
In the future, it might become a common skill. But, for now, programming and setting up robots/computers for any given task remains something that requires particular expertise.
That puts the power into the hands of a limited number of skilled people around the world.
8. They’re Expensive to Install and Run
Business owners looking to install robots in their factories/operations face significant upfront costs.
After all, robots aren’t cheap- especially when they’re high-tech, top of the line and needed for a specific task. The can put extreme financial pressure on an organisation.
Thanks to the electricity and manpower required to keep robots in working order, the running costs involved are high as well.
You have to hope that that the increases output justifies the initial investment.
9. They Mean Staff Need Retraining
The shift from manpower to robot-power doesn’t always cull jobs for employees.
Sometimes it just requires a shift in responsibilities to operate the robots that have been brought in. For that to happen, though, employees will need to undergo significant retraining and upskilling.
10. They’ll Cause Possible Class Divides
Expensive products/services are only available to people who can afford them.
Until robots become mass-produced, it’s unlikely that everyday people will be able to buy them and reap the rewards they might offer. They’ll be the reserve of the wealthiest people in society, who’ll get another head start on the working class.
If robots can be used to extend peoples’ wealth, then the divide between rich and poor will only increase.
11. They Suffer Expensive Faults and Repairs
Another financial issue involved with robots is to do with any faults and problems that occur.
Everything from the materials involved to the engineers required to fix them can be expensive. Throw in the cost of downtime and you’re looking at significant sums of money.
That’s bad news for business owners trying to recoup the cost of investment.
12. They Cause Cybersecurity Issues
Robots open the door to a range of cybersecurity problems too.
Even today, the rise of computers leaves many organisations and individuals open to attack. Hacks, ransomware, and identity theft are all potential hazards.
Now, fast forward a few decades to a time when robots are an everyday part of life.
They might be helping out around the house, caring for peoples’ wellbeing, and running any number of key tasks. Imagine if somebody hacked their system and programmed them to ‘misbehave’.
The potential repercussions could be extreme.
13. They Pose Potential Physical Danger from Malfunctions
It isn’t uncommon for humans to work in close proximity with robots.
The last thing you want is for a malfunction to cause the robot to do something dangerous.
They’re big heavy hunks of metal that pack immense power. It wouldn’t take much for a broken robot to do serious damage to the lowly human stood next to it.
14. They Might Make Humans Overreliant On Robotic Help
Think about how much you use your phone.
There’s a good chance it’s the first thing you check in the morning and the last thing you see at night. Your smartphone may never leave your pocket or be far from your side.
You use it for everything from fact-finding and navigation to photography and contacting loved ones.
Imagine having to go a day without it! Most people would feel lost and unable to go about their day as normal.
We can expect the same thing to happen with robots.
As they become more widely-available, used, and accepted in society, we’ll become ever more reliant on them. It’ll be like the film Wall-e, where humans become overweight and entirely dependent on robots for support.
15. They May Reduce Human Capabilities
We’ve already started to take our phones for granted.
But imagine if the internet was suddenly turned off and we had to revert to a life without the World Wide Web. It would change absolutely everything!
When was the last time you wrote a letter? Or read an actual map? When was the last time you used the Yellow Pages? What about keeping track of your finances with a pen and paper? How about going to a restaurant without reading online reviews? When was the last time you went to the library to get a book?
The list of changes that would come about goes on and on and on.
Modern technology has revolutionised life. But it also detracts from other parts of it. We’re less capable than we once were- less resilient, patient, and knowledgeable, to name just a few.
Imagine what would happen if we had robots doing everything for us! We’d forget what it meant to be human.
16. They Might Take Over the World!
Then, of course, there’s the big one:
The danger of robots taking over the world and killing off all the humans.
Needless to say, it’s a terrifying prospect, made even worse by how feasible this eventuality is! Computers are getting more intelligent by the day. Sooner or later they’ll develop a level on sentience that enables them to make decisions for themselves.
And then? Terminator.
We all know it ends with the terminator.
Hopefully, the decision-makers of the world have enough sense to leave the lid on this enormous can of worms. Take it off and we’re sure to enjoy a world of trouble.
Remember the Many Advantages and Disadvantages of Robots!
Robots already play a pivotal role in society.
You can guarantee that they’ll be a major part of society in future too. Heck, one day they might even rise up and overthrow us.
Until then, though, we can enjoy the many advantages of robots on offer, while keeping a close eye on the disadvantages of robots too!
Hopefully, this post has highlighted all the advantages and disadvantages of robots you were looking to learn about.