What are the advantages and disadvantages of robots in the workplace?
There are many advantages and disadvantages of robots being a part of the workplace. One of the disadvantages is that it may cause job loss for many people. But, by the same token, those who control the robots, people who are trained to do so, will have jobs. So, it balances out, really.
According to eHow, the process of having robots in the workplaces will involve more positives than negatives. For instance, “One of the advantages of using robots in the workplace is that they can cut down on the number of dangerous tasks that employees have to engage in. Robots can go into potentially dangerous situations and perform without having to risk the health of employees at the same time. For example, the military has drones and remote-controlled vehicles that can go into war zones.”
Having robots in the workplace does also take away from the mundane tasks one has to do while working, “In many work environments, employees expend countless hours doing mundane activities that could be better used elsewhere. For example, in a manufacturing setting, workers may have to walk back and forth between a storage area and the assembly line to retrieve products. With the help of robots, these workers can be much more productive because they are not wasting time retrieving goods for the manufacturing process. This can increase the output of the company and help make more money.” So, we have got the fact that robots can save us from scary, dangerous tasks, and spare us from mundane ones. Instead, we can focus on interpersonal and collaborative efforts.
As I have said before, the robots will reduce the amount of work available out there, “While reducing labor may not be in the best interest of workers, it can help companies with the bottom line. When robots can perform many of the tasks that lower-paid workers do, using a robot can save the company money. For example, in a hospital setting, some robots are being used to transport medicine and samples from one area to another without relying on humans to do it. This can reduce wages for the company and help it be more profitable.”
But, with the reduction of labor comes the advantage of increased output, “Robots are also frequently used in manufacturing settings as a part of the process of assembling the product. For example, auto manufacturers have successfully used robots for many years. A robot is placed on the assembly line and puts together a piece of the machinery before it is passed on to a human worker. This helps humans avoid these simple tasks and it can also ensure that other workers have plenty to do.”
If we were to take welders as an example, we would find the flaws and disadvantages of robotic workers, “Despite the advantages of using a robotic welder, they also present a few concerns. Robotic welders are expensive to purchase, which means that an average business cannot afford one. They require trained personnel to man and program and can often break down or need repair. Other concerns are that the limited movement of a robotic arm might not allow the robot to weld all necessary places. This means that a human welder will still have to go in and finish the job. If the object needing to be welded has been placed incorrectly, the welding robot will still weld in exactly the same programmed places, so that the welds are “off” or located in the wrong place. Poor programming can also produce inaccurate results. Robots are also limited to only a few types of welding, and many of these take longer to cool or can even weaken metal if not used properly”.