Did you know?

The journey of self-driving cars began more than 100 years ago. A former U.S. army engineer, Francis Houdina found the ‘Houdina Radio Control’ by attaching a radio control system to a car, controlling it with remote control.

We know what robots do—some work all by themselves; called independent robots. This is the classic idea of what a robot is: a completely autonomous device, not requiring human operators to carry out their programmed repetitive or dangerous task. Robots are often used to automate certain jobs in factories. But unlike some traditional factory machines, they don’t need to be reprogrammed and retooled to perform different tasks.

Other robots combine sensors, cameras, and machine learning to enable them to work collaboratively with humans (Cobots). These robots are designed to share a workspace with fellow humanoid workers, making automation easier than ever before. They have a wide variety of applications from assembly, welding, finishing, and quality inspection. Another example are automated exoskeletons that can help a human operator lift and manipulate objects that are far too heavy for the unaided human body.

Other robots can be programmed (sometimes called dependent robots). They’re often used to help with tasks humans already do and are used in manufacturing to perform a variety of assembly jobs more rapidly, flexibly, and safely than humans.

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Thank you to Humber College’s Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation for use of their facilities during the filming of this campaign. The Innovation Centre’s objective is to bring together students, industry and faculty to solve real world problems and minimize the skills gap in industry.

Outcomes & Solutions

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Clean & Safe Workplaces

Robots have been created to perform tasks that are too dangerous for humans. They can also do maintenance jobs and perform routine inspections. These "technological assistants" can operate autonomously and perform dangerous tasks, protecting employees from risk. For example, janitorial disinfecting robots have been developed to clean health facilities and other large spaces during the pandemic.

Surgical robot in operating room

Surgical Robots

These devices can help a surgeon perform a procedure without actually being there. In fact, they might even be on the other side of the world. It’s all possible. Through finely tuned instruments, advanced medical imaging, and thoughtfully designed interfaces for surgeons, the best doctor’s skills can be translated into first-rate medical care. Robots are tools, but they also need to be manufactured – and Canada is home to some of the best robotics companies in the world.

View of Earth from the International Space Station

Space Exploration

rom the Mars Rover expedition to the International Space Station, robotics have long played a crucial role in outer space. Space exploration is dangerous—by offloading responsibilities to robots, people can play a much safer, but more critical role. The most famous Canadian contribution in space is a robot: the Canadarm which is set to begin manufacturing in space in just a few years.

Careers Using this Technology

Medical Researcher

A scientist who studies healthcare challenges, medical procedures, and diseases. Medical researchers are truly on the cutting edge of healthcare, seeking out new and innovative ways to treat people, use data and research to find possible cures, treatments, or new medical procedures doctors can use. Using robotics, medical researchers can take great strides to improving people’s quality of life by finding better solutions and products, such as 3D printed bones, that closely mimic the human body’s natural flexibility and movement. It’s that type of knowledge that manufacturers need to design, produce, and program the medical robots of the future.

Woman in a lab coat and goggles in front of a machine

Health & Safety Specialist

Examine workplaces for environmental or physical factors affecting employee health, safety, comfort, and performance. These specialists are on the front lines of creating a future where humans can work alongside robots in total harmony and safety. As a health & safety specialist, you’d help find solutions to help humans work safely in close proximity to robots, and minimize issues like stress and strain injuries. This involves examining factors such as lighting, equipment, materials, and ventilation, as well as understanding the mix of roles that should be performed by robots, and which are better suited to humans.

Two people in coveralls and hardhats

Software Programmer

Programs software applications and operating systems. After a software developer designs a computer program, the programmer writes code, converting design into a set of instructions a computer or robot follows. As a software programmer, you may use tools like A.I. to discover new capabilities for robots, or even brand new ways to use them, paving the way for a whole new world of possibilities.

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