Possibilities of Robots

Even though robots are a highly controversial issue, I believe they can bring more good than bad to the world, and I support their advancement and development. ASIMO, a robot made by the Japanese company Honda, has many abilities that resemble a human’s. Its name is an acronym for “Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility.” It is 130 cm tall, weighs 48 kg, walks at a speed of 2.7 km/h, and runs at 9 km/h. It can walk with perfect freedom, go up and down stairs, turn, and dance and so on (Honda).

As you can see in the attached YouTube video, ASIMO can carry a tray with food or beverages, and charge its battery by itself. As shown in the picture below, ASIMO can also push a wagon and cultivate land with a farming tractor. As evidence has shown, ASIMO is capable of doing repetitious, easy, and mundane tasks all by himself, with the help of programming and instructions. In addition, because ASIMO’s brain is a computer, it has the ability to remember much more information than a human; for instance, ASIMO can speak in multiple languages. Today ASIMO can do 1 hour of work equivalent to 1.5 hours of battery charging (Honda), but it’s ability to charge it’s battery by itself could also be seen as a form of work, which would mean ASIMO can be continuously productive on his own. Humans must take rests, but robots do not require rest (except charging their batteries) giving them the ability to work 24/7, which can save us (humans) a lot of time and, with that saved time, we can continue our technological advancement. With ASIMO’s abilities, it’s possible that robots could take care of old and young people in the future, or even work in hospitals, saving doctors precious time, by doing the more mundane tasks. I believe there is so much that robots could help us with, which would lend us more time to focus on more important tasks.

The strongest advantage of robots is that they can work at dangerous sites. When Fukushima Nuclear Power plants exploded (due to 2011 tsunami), they leaked a large amount of radioactive substance into the surrounding area. Though it was necessary to stop the flow of radioactive substance, it could not be stopped, because humans would instantly be killed. This is a great example of a situation that robots could help us in.

Honda: http://www.honda.co.jp/ASIMO/


One comment

  1. shiha003

    I must rebut most of this argument on the basis of my own personal beliefs. I personally do not think that we should be using robots to replace much of human work. You had stated that ASIMO could carry trays of food, cultivate fields and do repetitive easy tasks. But I ask you, why would we need a robot that can do what humans have been doing just fine for hundreds of years? If we had robots replace us in these simple tasks, what would we do? The only useful position, in which I could see ASIMO functioning in, is the dangerous and contaminated areas, such as the Fukushima Nuclear Power, in which you mentioned.
    I understand the attraction in using robots for manufacturing products as they can work more efficient and more accurately then humans as well as having only an initial cost with no continued wages. And I do ultimately agree, they probably can do our jobs a bit better, but I think there is a bigger picture to look at here. What will happen to all the workers in which robots replace? You surely cannot think that laying off millions of people that have been replaced by robots, will help our economy, even if goods are produced cheaper. In order for people to buy goods, they need to make money.
    There was an article, entitled The Robotic Revolution that actually discussed just that, the “Robotic Revolution” and gave a solution to the inevitable economic downturn. They predicted that in 50 years, robots would preform all tasks essential to human function and result in a 50% unemployment rate. The solution they propose in order for the economy to keep going is to give consumers money. They believe that a central account should be created in which money is taken from government entities and public services and then redistributed to the population. This would then in turn free people in order to pursue creative endeavors towards art, music, planning, inventing as well as the pursuit of finding alternative ways of making extra money.
    While this utopian world sounds great and a way of relieving the stress that many Americans have from their 9-5 jobs, I do not see this a realistic solution, nor do I see the pursuit of a “Robotic Evolution” a goal to strive towards


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