When we are talking about smart manufacturing, robots cannot be missed. Industrial robots have considerably increased productivity and relieve humans of heavy tasks since they were first incorporated into manufacturing lines. As the use of robots raises many ethical issues regarding the employability of humans, it is important to mention the words of the professor Robert Radwin: “We envision a workplace where workers won’t be replaced by robots, but rather where robots will assist workers in their jobs. That’s our goal” [1].

Robot learning combines several machine learning techniques with robotics-related content i.e., in robot learning and behavior. Robot learning places more focus on producing actions as the output than traditional machine learning does on monitoring the environment as the input. For instance, whereas reinforcement learning offers formalizations for machine behavior, deep learning assists the robot in handling unstructured settings. Animal behavior is similar to this type of scenario.


Figure 1: Human behaviour and machine behaviour [2]

Humans use their sense organs, such as their eyes, nose and hands, which are connected to the brain through the neurological system, to perceive their surroundings. For instance, light-sensitive cells on the retina detect environmental light before sending bio-electricity signals to the cerebral cortex. To create motion, however, the cerebral cortex also communicates with the relevant muscles. Close-loop formation is created by this pipeline, same as in automatic control. For instance, a human will use his eyes to detect the glass of milk and watch his hand as it to reach it, take it to his lips, drink from it, and then put the glass back. Similarly, behaviors are shared by robotic devices in the closed-loop, as seen in the Figure 1. Cameras are used by the robot to examine its surroundings, while computers are used to analyze perceptual data. The robotic manipulator is then driven by algorithms sending commands to the robot controller [2].

Lastly, some of the benefits of operating robots in industry include, reducing programming time and automation costs, making it easier for workers in the industry. Stephen Hawking, a theoretical physicist, believed that humans would be replaced by robots, and robotic technology has advanced more quickly than expected [3]. Thus, this robot-human matter needs more research and development so that worker’s jobs are not threatened.


[1] L. Liu et al., “Human Robot Collaboration for Enhancing Work Activities,” Hum. Factors, 2022, doi: 10.1177/00187208221077722.

[2] Z. Liu, Q. Liu, W. Xu, L. Wang, and Z. Zhou, “Robot learning towards smart robotic manufacturing: A review,” Robot. Comput. Integr. Manuf., vol. 77, p. 102360, Oct. 2022, doi: 10.1016/J.RCIM.2022.102360.

[3] How robots are stealing human jobs and threatening our future.” https://www.trtworld.com/life/how-robots-are-stealing-human-jobs-and-threatening-our-future-28285 (accessed Jan. 04, 2023).

Featured image: Freepik/macrovector

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