Companies are swiftly adopting digital technology, with the whole industry moving towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR) or Industry 4.0. The ultimate end goal of almost all industries is to be self-sustainable, with automation at its core eventually like the Skyscraper Window Washing Robots. Subsequently, the industry has to adapt and integrate robotic technology in its operational process to reach this goal.
Robotics technology is rapidly evolving in both accessibility and usability. With this evolution, the technology is getting better and more usable, but the robotics market is also more valuable. Consequently, the robotics industry is currently one of the biggest markets of the technology paradigm.
In hindsight, the market also reflects this favorable shift of the industry towards robotics technology. As a result, researchers forecast that the global robotic industry market was more than 27 Billion US Dollars in 2020, with the other estimation that it will cross 74 Billion US Dollars by 2026. This increase in the market value represents an annual increase of more than 17%.
Furthermore, these figures will only increase in rate and estimation in the future post-COVID-19 pandemic era where work-from-home and remote technology is experiencing an enormous boost in development, accessibility, and adoption.
Robotics especially shines in industries where the work is either reparative or dangerous. Industries see this in retrospect in which various industries and production use robotic technology to achieve automation in repetitive and potentially dangerous tasks. For example, in the cleaning industry, skyscraper window cleaning is a hazardous task. With skyscrapers towering very high, the workers usually have to climb onto a platform that is hanging potentially even a hundred floors above with the support of a couple of wires.
Cleaning windows properly is just one of the problems when you are dangling hundreds of floors above the ground. With such high risk, the window cleaning industry rides on workers with steel nerves and a good cleaning capability. Although this business is lucrative, the lack of such workers and even companies that perform such risky jobs. The industry is also declining due to the same reason. With over 40 Billion US Dollars worth of market revenue every year, the window cleaning industry faces a lack of young talents to replace the old and trusty workers. The fact that above 74% of workers with training for such jobs are over 40 years old reflects this problem. Consequently, although a lucrative business, it's a dangerous job facing a severe lack of replacement workers.
One of the primary solutions to this problem is to remove workers from the task altogether. Therefore, replacing the window cleaning workers with robots is one of the possible solutions to eliminate human risk and increase efficiency and potential. Hence, window cleaning robots are growing in popularity in this business.
But to know how this all works, we first have to know about robots.
What is a Robot?
A robot is a programmable machine that can automatically perform specific tasks or take particular actions without requiring human assistance.
People usually imagine robots as machines with humanoid shapes with high intelligence, at least that is the depiction of robots in media and science fiction. But unlike robots in popular media and science fiction cultures, robots come in different forms, sizes, and uses. Furthermore, a robot is any machine with some level of processing power and can perform specific tasks without needing human intervention.
Read more: How DeepMind Is Reinventing Robotics!
For instance, the disk-shaped machine/device that cleans the floor automatically while moving on its own and avoiding obstacles is a robot. Similarly, various toy robots and robotic kits are already available in the consumer market. Drones are also a type of robot that can fly autonomously, balance themselves and follow directions from human operators. Apart from the consumer market, robots are also widely in use in industrial settings. The most widespread use of robotic technology and robots is seen in industries and production sites.
A robot is not a singular device or a machine; instead, it combines various components, systems, and incoherence to perform multiple tasks. These components include sensors, processors, storage systems, power supplies, mechanical parts like wheels, arms, chains, cameras, actuators, rotors, motors, etc. These components, devices, and systems work together efficiently to behave like a singular unit and perform various tasks with collaboration and communication.
With the advancement of technology, various systems, including sensors, processing power, battery power, storage systems, motors, actuator systems, and digital systems, are getting more modern and efficient. With the constant evolution of these components, they are increasingly getting complex. However, increasing complexity also increases the ease of use, efficiency, and capability of these components. The whole robotic engineering paradigm reflects this increase with robots getting smarter, more capable, and more efficient in performing various tasks and jobs with increasing levels of autonomy.
The Case of Skyscraper Window Washing Robots
Skyscrapers are, as their name reflects, very tall and usually stand over 150 meters high. On the other hand, mega-skyscrapers are well over 600 meters in height with more than hundreds of floors. These skyscrapers also require a vast amount of maintenance, including cleaning their windows. But these skyscrapers are so tall that regular cleaners cannot clean them. So they need professional window cleaners.
Professional window cleaners usually stand atop a platform hanging beside skyscrapers and are controllable by a crane. This crane can take them downwards or upwards and sideways across the building. Although the media onto which the workers stand to have railings for safety, it still hangs above hundreds of floors above where one small mistake or mishap can end horribly. Besides these factors, the weather is also a significant factor that can increase the risk of window washing, especially if it is a windy season. So it is a pretty risky job from every corner possible.
Moreover, besides the danger of hanging beside such tall buildings, window cleaning is also a challenging job, with few workers even willing to climb onto the platform that's dangling hundreds of meters above the ground. This same case is why this business is so lucrative in the first place. Unfortunately, this is also becoming why new recruitments are getting complicated. With over 74% of the trained professional window washers being over 40 decades old, the replacement rate with young blood is thin.
Even if one does not fear heights, the job has a significant risk of losing their life, making it unattractive to many. The risk factor is very unfavorable with humans on the scale.
How Robots Make Skyscraper Window Washing More Safe?
Right off the bat, when robots are the ones cleaning the skyscraper windows, we can eliminate the risks of having humans on platforms besides the skyscrapers. When robots are replacing almost every human labor, it is essential to look into this factor where the risk of losing life is more than human labor. It will significantly reduce the risks along with having massive leverage if something does go wrong. Thus, we can remove the heavyweight of having potential dangers for humans.
With robots, maintenance along with cleaning is straightforward to perform. With the advancement in remote technology or even autonomous technology, window cleaning robots can leverage this by being controllable by humans or even independent at their tasks. With robots, workers can permanently bolt or fix the robots onto the lift mechanisms, significantly reducing the time consumption that would otherwise be used in checking harnesses or straps for human workers. It will reduce the turnaround times between jobs and save time significantly.
Not only will window cleaning become safer, but it will also become more efficient and fast while consuming fewer resources. Another significant advantage of using window cleaning robots is the economic benefit. These robots can work at almost any condition without stopping and even multiple robots for faster turnaround times between different jobs. As a result, it will undoubtedly bring more returns from the investment.
It will increase the work capacity of window cleaning companies and make the whole gig more economical for consumers. It will also be fascinating for the skyscraper owner to see the robot cleaning the window rather than being guilty of risking human life. Meaning it will attract more consumers and even less time between the cleaning cycles. It will increase the market value and revenue of the whole industry altogether.
FS Studio, therefore, provides robotic services like Offline Robotic Programming or even robot training and software development that can cater to the window cleaning business. FS Studio’s collective experience and knowledge from decades of research and development with solutions like Robotic Simulation Services alongside emerging technologies like AR and VR.
With expertise in Artificial Intelligence and technologies like Machine Learning (ML) and Big Data, FS Studio provides intuitive solutions for product development and innovative R&D technologies. FS Studio offers cutting-edge solutions for present problems and issues. It also empowers its clients with solid solutions that will also help them solve and tackle future challenges.
Skyscraper window washing robots are a massive step for window washing companies. They are safer, efficient, and cost-effective on top of enabling new opportunities and possibilities not only in end jobs but also on business fronts. With the Industry 4.0 approach, industries are transforming themselves towards digital technology to strive for automation. This goal relies heavily on robotic technology that enables intuitive solutions like skyscraper window washing robots.
From everyday market consumers to innovative technologies like robotic simulation services, offline robot programming, AI, AR, and VR, one thing is for sure, the robotic technology in the future will reach places and fields that are unforeseen even today. So, researchers and market enthusiasts have already started to predict what the industry will be like in the future. Hovering over thousands of ideas and scenarios, they have come down to these top three predictions for the robotic industry.
The Robotics industry is continuously evolving and growing. Researchers estimate that the market for the robotic industry globally in 2020 was more than 27 Billion US Dollars. This figure, however, has high expectations to grow astronomically to more than 74 Billion US Dollars by 2026. Researchers also pair this expectation with an annual growth rate of 17.45%, which again believes it will grow more.
The mainstream market also reflects this growing influence of robotics. The demand for robots and robotic technology is increasing in industries and factories, and regular consumer space. It shows that the robotic industry will become more and more mainstream with its uses to be making places even in fields that we cannot foresee today.
Read more: Are You Still Manually Teaching Robots?
With the COVID-19 pandemic, industry and consumer trends are shifting. During the pandemic, automation and remote operations experienced a boom that saw changing needs among manufacturers and consumers. In addition, people working from home, communication technology was on top of its game, with industries relating to remote communications increasing in value and influence.
It also brings together the sensing technology along it. With automation of tasks, even daily tasks being in demand, the robotic industry and the consumer industry focus on automation and sensing technology that enables it. Moreover, with automation comes data. Hence the data-driven industries like cloud technology are also increasing. Today’s data industry is so big that the tech giants of the current world are determinants of the amount of data they control and can process.
Another significant technology in communication, the 5G technology, is also a rave among consumers and industry alike. With this, the robotic industry is also taking advantage of 5G technology, with robots being more capable of high-speed communication and being more data-driven than ever.
We can compile all this information and trends of the current world into three things: Mainstream consumer space, Automation, and the data-driven industry and communication and sensing technology.
The demand for robotic and other state-of-the-art technology is increasing in the mainstream market. As a result, consumers are getting warier with these technologies and are willing to invest in them. It shows that the mainstream consumer market is undoubtedly aware that robotics technology is the future.
Furthermore, with or without the pandemic, communication and sensing technology is increasing in adoption and innovation, giving the green light to the predictions for the robotics industry. But due to the pandemic, it experienced a rapid increase in its adoption and development. Moreover, with people working from home and companies emphasizing remote working, communication technology is experiencing a high rise in demand. It is no different in robotic technology. Since robots integrate other technologies that are very advanced and highly complex, communication and networking will experience colossal development.
Consumers will expect their devices to be able to communicate with them more seamlessly. Furthermore, every use case of any robotic technology will want to fully utilize this advancement in communication technology to enable different possibilities. With high-speed communication possible, fleets of robots will communicate more efficiently and rapidly, creating even more use cases. Furthermore, Fleets of communicating robots capable of working together as a unit to complete specific tasks together will also be a high possibility with newer communication standards like 5G.
Along with communication comes sensor technology. With sensors getting smaller with more efficiency but less power, it will be possible to use them even in unforeseen places and use cases. Furthermore, with home security systems improving daily and technologies like computer vision and natural language progressing, sensors adept at these technologies will also enhance more. So naturally, the robotics industry will also take advantage of this.
Since the robotic industry is mainly based around sensors and their capabilities, with the increasing efficiency of sensors, it will be possible to include more significant, more capable sensors in any robot.
Predictions for the robotic industry are getting wilder; however, the accomplishments don’t fail to amaze us. Like the battery technology is improving further, and these sensors are getting more and more power-efficient, it is almost certain that we will use various kinds of sensors in different fields that are even seen as not possible today. For instance, take our phones, for example. Mobile technology is improving at such a fast pace that with each increasing year or two, people feel obliged to upgrade their phones to a newer model since they have started to feel old even if they are only a year or two old.
Since phones are getting smarter, so are the sensors inside them. A smartphone has numerous sensors, from cameras to accelerators to some phones even having LiDAR sensors in them. Compare this advancement to only a decade back, when phones with even a camera were tough to find. It acts as a testament to how far sensing technology has come and is improving at a fast pace. Of course, this also applies to robotic technology.
With sensors getting more efficient, smaller, more powerful while being more power-efficient, it will be possible for robot developers to pack more robust and accurate sensors in their robots. It will enable more probabilities. Furthermore, with sensors comes to their data. Sensors are devices that extract enormous amounts of data. However, to process and handle this, data-driven technologies are promptly evolving, if not even more.
The data-driven industry is evolving at a pace that exceeded the predictions for robotic industries made before the pandemic. With almost all kinds of technology now capable of dealing with data, manufacturers are constantly packing their products with more data-driven features, thanks to the efficiency of processing units getting better. The data industry is so important today that the top tech leaders of the current world are determinants of the efficient utilization of data technology; with devices capable of collecting large amounts of data, whether, through sensors or user interactions, data-driven applications are certainly thriving.
With data comes technologies like Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications. With AI comes the automation of the industry. The Robotics industry is undoubtedly at the forefront of automation technology, with humans having a vision of automated robots way back. However, what’s even more exciting about this data-driven technology is that it helps a robot have practical and smart applications and even helps to develop and build robots.
Innovative technologies like Simulations, AR, and VR will thrive under the data-driven industry after all these technologies rely heavily upon data. But with data-driven technology developing at a rapid rate, these technologies are also improving very fast. Moreover, simulations are now capable of imitating real-world environments and phenomena with very accurate physics engines. Robotic development is also possible with these technologies, especially since the robotic industry is a costly industry due to its high risk for humans and economic benefits and resource consumption.
Robotic research and development usually require many resources and skills willing to take a risk with high-value components, and research is for waste. Furthermore, since simulations and digital technologies like Robotic Simulation Services or Offline Robot Programming Software Platforms are mainstream, the future robotic industry will depend on these technologies.
With various advantages like rapid prototyping, faster and efficient designing process, fewer resources, and fewer requirements of highly skilled personnel, simulation technology will thrive in the future for the robotic industry. The robotic industry will design, test, develop, and research robotics inside simulations with technologies like digital twins.
The predictions for the robotic industry also indicate that the industries and production sites will be using technologies like Offline Robot Programming Platforms for teaching and programming robots, resulting in fewer downtimes and progressing more smoothly. It is because the robotic industry will have its core lying in digital technologies like these.
Robots of the future will also focus more on the human-robot collaboration where robots will be more capable of working together with humans. For this, integrating technologies like AR and VR in robotics and AI will be crucial. AR and VR will allow the robotic industry to venture towards complete digital premises along with remote technology.
Compiling all this information and trends in the world today, we can be sure that the future of the robotic industry looks to be very promising. From everyday market consumers to innovative technologies like robotic simulation services, offline robot programming, AI, AR, VR, one thing is for sure, the robotic technology in the future will reach places and fields that are unforeseen even today. With this, the top 3 most significant predictions for the robotic industry are: