Service to Humans, the Future of Robotics
Even though robotics are evolving, they're still confined to the industrial sector. Companies looking for automation use industrial robotics and call existing large companies to meet their needs. However, this market is starting to be saturated and no need for a crystal ball to know that the future of robotics lies in services to humans.
One of the most promising specializations is service robotics; more specifically robotics that directly fulfill human needs. There are a few stable and serious players in this area, and Kinova is one of them, offering several assistive technologies, among other robotic solutions and products. There's an important demand to exploit but not that many established players. But they've yet to find their niche.
Our vision at Kinova will always be “empowering humanity”
A Great Challenge
The challenge lies in finding the right area to focus on in this ocean of applications to be robotized. Several companies are promoting and developing robotics that serves no real purpose or that have no added value for humans. Kinova has certainly distinguished itself in its ability to exploit a useful niche market. Whether in the medical, innovative or assistive robotics fields, Kinova meets the real needs of humans and we can safely say we haven’t just borrowed or modified existing technology. Our JACO robotic arm was designed with the needs of people in mind, to overcome their limitations.
Fears around Artificial Intelligence
Many people, from robotics amateurs to respected scientists, fear the rapid evolution of robotics, especially when combined with artificial intelligence (AI). Historically, new technologies that have changed our lives have also raised concerns. It's true that jobs have been lost and workers have had to be reoriented towards other professions because of the emergence of some technologies, but on the other hand, new jobs have been created and ultimately the long-term result has been that people are increasingly able to dedicate their time to creative and less repetitive tasks. If technology is used wisely, everyone's a winner, and the same goes for AI and robotics.
Many people, from robotics amateurs to respected scientists, fear the rapid evolution of robotics, especially when combined with artificial intelligence (AI).
Our vision at Kinova will always be “empowering humanity” and we are certainly looking into the possibility of using artificial intelligence in our products. AI would allow users of our JACO robotic arm to perform the same tasks even more efficiently. In the context of assistive rehabilitation, a user who wants to pick up a glass of water needs to have some interactions with the control interface to do so. With AI, the system would learn the movement needed to meet the user’s needs. Those interactions could be reduced to a minimum. A simple gesture like drinking a glass of water, which can take a minute to achieve for a disabled person using JACO, will be completed in 15 seconds.
Our company will meet great challenges in the coming years. We want to produce robots that are accessible for everyone, formidably efficient and easy to use, so that anyone can control them. Kinova is developing a presence in the medical field, we want our product to become a doctor’s assistant. Artificial intelligence and miniaturization will help us achieve this goal. Miniaturization will allow us to refine treatments so they're less invasive for patients while AI will allow doctors to think about what they WANT to do and not worry about HOW they can do it.