Thursday, July 18, 2024

Push The Button: How Startups Can Become More Automated.

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(ThySistas.comIn the 1960s, there was a program on TV called The Jetsons. It was a kind of futuristic, sci-fi romp showcasing the fabulous, futuristic life of a family trapped somewhere in the late 21st century. In the world of the Jetsons, all of a person’s material needs could be accessed with the touch of a button. They could get a meal, transportation somewhere, or even counseling.

But although that might have seemed like science fiction to a 1960s audience, it isn’t anymore. Today’s business leaders are laying to foundations to make that world a reality.

Giving Machines Intelligence

The trick to the Jetson universe is automation. This means giving machines intelligence so that they can do the tasks that regular humans do right now. You can imagine machines doing all sorts of things, from packing your Amazon parcels to writing this article. Heck, even writers could one day fall to computers.

We’re still a long way from that world, but it is coming. Entrepreneurs who climb on the wave will put themselves in good stead for the future. With advances in control panel design and software, it’s becoming easier for smart leaders to automate vast swathes of their operations. Costs will fall in the process.

So what are they automating? How will entrepreneurs get machines to do all the hard work?

Human-Machine Interfaces

Perhaps the most exciting area of automation right now is the interface between humans and machines. In the past, machines didn’t have brains. Robots swung their arms according to pre-programmed instructions. They would crush fleshy co-workers without a thought for their continued existence. Robots sat behind cages, well out of the way of people.

But today, robots (or at least robot arms) are becoming a little more compassionate.

When they bump into a person, they’ll stop in their tracks, and only carry on with their operations if they think that it’s safe to do so. They can pass people the things that they need to do their work. And they can offer greater dexterity than is available with the human hand.

Where Will We See Robots Next?

Early applications will be basic. Robots will do things like pass fulfillment center employees boxes. In the long term, though, we could see these robot arms popping up everywhere.

Entrepreneurs need to think carefully how an extra robot arm could help them do things more cheaply. Robotsare coming down in price all the time. Today can do simple tasks, like sorting. This cut costs, freeing up labor for other things.

What About Augmented Reality?

There’s another human-machine interface that’s creating a stir in the startup community: the ability to augment reality. Overlaying digital information on the physical world has the potential to cut costs. It can also reduce time to market, and help make workers more productive.

You can imagine a situation in which augmented reality headsets allow people to get more done every day.

Startups, therefore, can be more automated by cutting out tasks that no longer need to be performed by a human.

Staff Writer; Jill Washington

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