4 robotics trends likely to be seen in 2023

4 robotics trends likely to be seen in 2023
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Robots are influencing our lives in many ways today, from vacuuming our floors, to delivering packages to our homes, and responding to customer-service chats, and more.

The robotic market pushed through the pandemic's disruption to grow phenomenally as consumers spent more time at home and invested in robotic offerings that made life simpler. According to global intelligence firm ABI Research, shipments of mobile robots will grow from 40,000 units in 2021 to reach 350,000 by 2030, a CAGR of 27%. 

With robots increasingly becoming commonplace, we shed light on a few trends - some already started to evolve in 2022 — that are likely to shape robotics in 2023.  


Delivery robots gaining grounds  

This year, the Starship robots that carry objects up to six-kilometers away, navigate streets on their own, and deliver packages to customers made headlines. The year 2023 will see more such robots that are equipped with sensors, artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent systems, say experts.   

Robots are already being trialled to deliver food and other items in South Korea, which is planning to allow them on roads soon. Woowa Brothers, operator of South Korea’s food delivery app — Baedal Minjok, started using robots on a trial basis in 2020. The government is working on a policy by this year-end so that they can be allowed to operate on roads.   


There are more examples of robots carrying food from kitchens to tables in a restaurant that are finding its way into an increasing number of eateries in South Korea, a number of these robots are developed by electronics major LG that are coming up with small vehicle-type robot for outdoor use.   

More recently, instant delivery firm Uber Eats and robotics company Cartken have partnered to enable food delivery by robots in Miami.   

Hyundai also announced two pilots for autonomous robot delivery services at a hotel and a residential-commercial complex in Seoul based on what it calls its plug-n-drive module platform, with Dong Jin Hyun, head of the robotics lab of Hyundai Motor Group, said that the robots are likely to hit the market in 2023, with the aim to foster mobility services, safety and affordability.  


More flexible robots to evolve soon  

One thing we can expect from robots in 2023 is greater flexibility and researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science and the University of California, Berkeley are already working towards that. They have designed a robotic system — a small four-legged robot — that can climb and descend stairs, traverse rocky, slippery, steep and varied terrain; walk across gaps; scale rocks and curbs; and even operate in the dark.   

Deepak Pathak, assistant professor in the Robotics Institute, believes that this kind of adaptable robots could perform many tasks including search-and-rescue operations.  


With laser vision technologies that enable robots to work even in the dark, they will have better, lighter and more accurate sensors providing better dexterity. Many agile and flexible robots will find a place in single-person households and for the ageing population.  

Cooking robots to get smarter  

Cooking robots often called ‘robot chefs’ are getting much attention in recent months, as they can perform a number of kitchen-related tasks such as stirring fries and pasta, making burgers, and assembling pizzas. With the aid of on-board sensors, optical cameras, and enhanced AI technology, robot cooks are designed to multitask and execute the actions and movements of professional human cooks in real time.   


However, there are a number of obstacles when robots cook, especially to get the “taste right”. 

Hence, a group of researchers at the University of Cambridge has created a robot “chef” that is trained to taste food at different stages of the chewing process. While it is tasting the food, the robot determines if it’s sufficiently seasoned. 

The research team worked with Beko, an appliance manufacturer, to train the robot chef to assess the saltiness of a dish during the chewing process. This process is similar to what humans carry out. 


"The new advancements could help develop automated or semi-automated food preparation technologies, with robots being able to determine what tastes good or doesn’t taste good," says Grzegorz Sochacki, research assistant from Cambridge's Department of Engineering. He believes that robotic chefs will play a major role in busy households for the next one year and beyond.  

 Cyber-attacks on robots to surge  

As humans are slowly being replaced by Robots in various jobs, experts predict more cyber-attacks to happen in the next one year. Nicholas Patterson, a cyber-security lecturer at Deakin University mentions in his blog, “Once a single device is compromised, hackers can take a number of actions based on the capabilities and functions of the device”. Take for example the smart lock in main door that can give hackers control over who comes in or out of the house, if compromised. Or, a voice-activated device such as a smart speaker can allow hackers to issue voice commands of their own. Likewise, a smart refrigerator and a smart coffee maker can also cause major issues if successfully hacked. Hackers can set up a smart refrigerator to register wrong expiration dates or order an immense amount of groceries online.   

According to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, an attacker can cause a denial of service (DoS) by forcefully stopping the robot during normal operation or eavesdrop, in which the attacker controls the entire conversation and can intercept all the important messages exchanged between the two victims and inject new ones.   

“The year 2023 will see more robotic cyber security solutions to let consumers secure endpoints and connection stacks to prevent data breaches,” it said.  

Experts further recommend users to update anti-malware software, turn off Bluetooth and the Wi-Fi of the robotic device and regularly change passwords to prevent robotic hacking.  

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