2019 — Top 3 Trends For Robotics

Ok, it’s been quite some time since we last posted here. It’s due to quite a long period of spare time people in Poland have during Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Also, Turtle Rover’s community manager (who happens to be me) got sick during Christmas and was unable to do stuff in the last few days. Nevertheless, blog posts need to be written. Before we move to the main topic of the post, I’d like to wish you, on behalf of Turtle Rover’s Team, all the best in 2019 — we hope you’ll be healthy, that you’ll earn a lot of money and that, this one’s most likely most important, you’ll simply be happy and have as little worries as possible. If you also happen to be a roboticist, we wish you get yourself a Turtle Rover, if you’d like to make your work easier and quicker. There’s also a ton of things we’d wish ourselves, both as individuals and as a company, but we’ll most likely share some sort of 2018’s report and 2019’s strategies and objectives in the upcoming posts. Since we’re done with wishes, let’s move to what you really came here for. Here are our top 3 predictions for robotics as a whole in the upcoming year.

Image by Team Fox Boston

Companies will keep on failing

We miss you, Rethink Robotics. Credit to them for the image.

Consumer robotics is still an emerging market. While supply is there and it’s getting bigger and bigger, demand doesn’t really meet it. It’s there, but people keep on expecting too much from nowadays’ robots. You either have “mobile companionship Alexas”, cobot-like devices and general purpose robots, which need specialized knowledge to be used effectively. It’s still a far way from, say, C3POs or even Wall-Es that people actually expect. Because of that, companies which will be unable to sell enough and to create the right type of robot, will cease to exist. As we’ve seen last year, pretty much nobody’s safe in this market. This also applies to us, so we can only hope that 2019 will be the year for us, because you know, skyrocketing would be sweet. There have been some marketing projects we’ve been working on for quite some time and we hope they will propel us in the right direction. But, as stated earlier, it’s almost certain — some companies will fall. That’s just how the market works, especially an emerging one.

ROS2 will be gaining momentum, but it won’t surpass it’s predecessor

Image by Udemy

ROS has really been a blessing for robotics. We like to think that it kind of serves the same purpose as Turtle Rover, being a versatile platform for building robotic projects, but exclusively as a software. Heck, we’ve even uploaded a ROS installation tutorial on our forum lately and we think it’s quite important. However, ROS2 has been released last year. Supposedly, it’s quite similar to the previous version, but while the changes are noticeable, they aren’t really game-changing, as of now. We wish the devs all the best and we hope ROS2’s capabilities will be worked upon and furthered. ROS2 will most certainly surpass ROS in the future, but it’s going to take quite a while. Don’t forget that ROS is still actively being used (by us, too) and new stuff is being developed for it. Because of that, ROS will be more relevant for roboticists in 2019, and most likely later on for quite some time.

People will keep on lowering their expectations of robots

GIF showing Simone Giertz. We hope you’re doing well, queen.

We’ve mentioned it earlier, but people still think of robots as of highly sophisticated future cyborgs being able to speak fluent Mandarin, breakdance and pilot a jet fighter if asked to. Yeah, that’s not the case. Most of robots, including Turtle Rover as of now, can’t even open a door. Don’t get us wrong, we’d love to see robots do all the stuff mentioned a few lines above at once, but we doubt if it’s going to happen before 2050. People tend to notice that and they will, hopefully, gradually lower their expectations, because that’s what they should do, unless they simply wish to be disappointed all the time. The other thing is that people will have to realize they have to have some special skills and knowledge to use robots effectively. MiniHellhound of Skynet wasn’t dancing last year simply after telling him “abomination, twitch rhythmically” (they are impressive, but they also happen to be nightmare fuel in our opinion), there was most likely a tremendous amount of work behind it doing so.

While this post isn’t really as optimistic as New Year expectations tend to be, we simply felt that it would be nice to keep emotions toned down. Robotics are hard, leading businesses is difficult and results are underwhelming for the public. But that’s ok. We need to work steadily and do our thing to prevail. The ultimate wish we’d like to make is for the 2019 to be way better than we expect it to be. Thanks for reading!