Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Robots in the Wild!

Have you ever heard the phrase "as rare as seeing a unicorn in the wild"? Well, the times they are a-changing, and a new, equally exciting creature is becoming more and more common in our everyday lives - robots. As you know, they're leaving the labs and factories and starting to roam free in our streets, our parks, and even our homes! This is a just migration, not an invasion, let's not panic. It's "Totally" Not Evil, I promise.

Earlier this year, I was taking a leisurely stroll around the magnificent grounds of the Belvedere in Vienna. I was there to admire the exquisite Baroque architecture and to gaze at the mesmerizing works of Klimt. However, I spotted something extraordinary, a Robot in the Wild. A Husqvarna robot, completely autonomous, humming a silent tune as it meticulously trimmed the luscious green carpet surrounding the palace. It's quite something to see these machines tending the gardens of such historic landmarks - as if the future decided to pay a visit to the past. Who needs garden gnomes when you have lawn-mowing robots?

Robot mowing the gardens at the Belvedere, Vienna

As I continued my travels, this time to an airport in Phuket, Thailand, the robots made their presence felt yet again. As I waited for my flight, a cute, round robot diligently scrubbed the floors, tirelessly ensuring cleanliness for the thousands of footfalls it would encounter every day. While we all were busy staring at our screens, this little robo-janitor was doing its part to keep our world a tad cleaner and shinier. 

Airport floor cleaner - Phuket, Thailand

Remember how I mentioned special purpose robots? Well, let's turn the spotlight to the solar industry. At a recent convention, there were 4-5 solar robot cleaner companies exhibiting. These little machines, like well-trained bees in a hive, were cleaning the dust off solar panels, making sure the path for sunlight was as clear as day. Why climb up the roof under the scorching sun when you can delegate it to these handy helpers?

Solar panel cleaner robot at InterSOLAR

two models - Solar panel cleaner robot at InterSOLAR

Finally, at a Power and Energy AWS convention, I spotted the ANYMAL robot. This four-legged, dog-like creation is something out of a science fiction movie. They are designed to operate in challenging environments, like inspecting offshore oil rigs, navigating through disaster-stricken areas, or simply delivering packages - your personal mechanical courier!

The ANYmal robot

Every day, the presence of robots in our world becomes less of a novelty and more of a norm. Some might find this unsettling, but remember, they're here to help us, to make our lives easier, safer, and more efficient. So, the next time you spot a robot in the wild, give them a nod, a wave, or a friendly beep-boop-beep in their language. Its best to be friends with them! ;)

In this thrilling time of transformation, we'll continue to document these mechanical marvels in their new habitats – our world. So, stay tuned for more chronicles of Robots in the Wild. You may think it's unusual to see a robot in your daily surroundings, but take a moment and observe. Are they becoming more common? Are they quietly blending into our everyday lives? You might be surprised.

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