2021: The Year of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

We have seen the worst in the past year. No physical contact, no handshakes, distant from the routine of our normal lives. We couldn’t go near those who were suffering from the viral infection. These are the times when we realize the importance of technological advances. But the need for technological advances such as robots has been for decades. It is just in the last few years that they have been extensively accessible to the common man. Yes, robots make our work easier. They can achieve feats with high precision and strength. It is like watching the future, or a sci-fi film. But we know this is the future. Half a year has gone by, but the quest to develop the best machines and make the world a simpler place is growing.

Since the advent of the age of information, everything is automated. And if automation requires humans to start the next step every time, then what is even the use?  For this purpose, we let computers make decisions for us or at least train them to make decisions for any process. Computers can also be taught to predict the future. For instance, predict a natural disaster, find mistakes in work, and so on. This is artificial intelligence. Both are at the forefront of technology and the base of our future. Let me take you on a tour of some of the best Robotics and AI applications that we got to see this year.


Bobble AI’s Bangla Typing keyboard


The best use of Artificial Intelligence in recent years has been in speech correction and typing aid. The Bengali keyboard is the fastest-growing typing keyboard in the world. The reason for its success is the English to Bangla typing made simple and the tons of features that come with it. To start with, the transliteration keyboard itself uses Artificial intelligence to convert text from English to Bengali. The keyboard uses speech-to-text conversion and word suggestions, which are the features a smart keyboard like the Bangla typing keyboard should have. 


Avatars, movie dialogues, animated stickers, and Pop texts; the color these features bring to the Bangla typing keyboard is beautiful. The keyboard is completely customizable and can be personalized as you want. Do you ever feel like there needs to be someone who understands you? It doesn’t matter if any person is there or not, the mood analyzer from the Bangla keyboard app studies your typing patterns and displays your mood. 


Bionic Arms


People who lost their arms greatly felt it during their everyday tasks. Their commitment and way of looking at life did not hinder their physical restrictions. In recent times, scientists and engineers have developed bionic arms powered by Artificial Intelligence. These arms help the person to hold onto objects by automatically adjusting fingers according to the shape of the object. Although this only works for lightweight objects, it is a big leap in technology.


Prosthetic and bionic arms make use of thousands of sensors that are embedded within them. From temperature detection, proximity, and pressure sensors to light, ultrasonic, and integrated circuits, they are a culmination of the most advanced systems. Most importantly, they give hope to those who have lived without that body part for so long. 


Robots at Hospitals


No doubt that when we mention Covid-19, the first thing that comes to mind is a hospital. That is where the worst of scenes have been experienced. Doctors and hospital staff are working way beyond their capacities which drains them both mentally and physically. Also, the risk of infection forces doctors to sometimes not even attend to the patient, but keep contact through the nursing staff. In these tough times, robots have proved to be lifesavers. 


They were used in so many fields, that it is impossible to mention all of them. Automated robots fitted with tablets roamed the general covid wards and helped doctors to interact with the patients. Robots carrying trays with medicine and food catered to the services of the patients. Robots also helped in the collection of swabs. 


Education Technology


When we talk about education, it would take us to the old classrooms and textbooks. When I was in high school, projector screens had just started to come here in Colombo. But they were so few and expensive at that point, they could be the future never really seemed true. But looking at current times, education technology is the need and place to invest. 


Newly developed robots can teach students in a concise and interactive manner. Even different languages can be used according to the subject and area. All that would be required is to do the necessary coding. And if we are to use the Bengali language for the robot, then very well use the Bangla keyboard app and Hindi Keyboard app for simplicity and speed. A robot can also be used to teach art and conduct different activities. All these are not fairy tales but have already been implemented in many schools around the globe. And it won’t be long before they are used everywhere. 


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