In a world increasingly shaped by technology, the power of robotics has changed the way people live and work.
From healthcare to agriculture, robots are now evolving to take more roles. So, where does Australia stand in the global robotics landscape?
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On today’s episode of The Science Briefing, Dr Sophie Calabretto and Cosmos Magazine journalist Petra Stock delve into the state of robotics in Australia and explore its potential for growth and innovation.
Stock said it would be challenging to define robots as their capabilities and forms continue to evolve.
“It turns out the way different people define robots tends to involve three main things: The sensing of the world, understanding and reasoning about it, and then moving,” Stock said.
However, she said it would be essential to distinguish robots from artificial intelligence (AI) systems that lack embodiment and physical presence.
Robotic advancements often spark conversations around science fiction and the fears of job displacements.
Stock said robots are far from humanoid companions like C-3PO from Star Wars. Instead, they take tasks that are “dull, dirty or dangerous”.
“A boring and repetitive job pecking fruit in a factory that’s dull. Robots can do that kind of relentless and often low-paid tasks very consistently, or enter a dangerous underground mineshaft,” she said.
Australia is also working towards its first national robotics strategy, with some achievements in niche areas, including field robotics and drones.
“Here’s this thing called robot population density. It’s a measure of the number of industrial robots per 10,000 employees. In Australia, our robot population density is 75, so 75 robots are employed for every 10,000 workers.”
Introducing The Science Briefing: a podcast about the science of everything and your new go-to podcast for your snapshot of science news. Hosted by Dr Sophie Calabretto and featuring journalists from Cosmos Magazine. Hear it on the LiSTNR app now.