Robot Revolution: Towards An Era of Human and Robot Coexistence

Mention the word "robot", and the images that come to mind are Hollywood humanoid characters – C3PO, R2D2, the Terminator just to name a few.

In reality however, robots are mostly unassuming mechanical devices programed to perform specific repetitive functions. They routinely carry out tasks that people don't want to do because they are boring, dirty or dangerous.

Robots are not a new phenomenon. In fact, they have been with us for more than half a century. Since then, robots have become widely used in industrial applications, such as those that weld on auto assembly lines. It is only recently that robots have entered into the service industry and this is the area in which they are most likely to have widespread impact on everyday life.

Hate having drive in Jakarta’s ever-worsening traffic? Google, Tesla and others are already working on autonomous cars that can do the driving for you.

Do you have elderly parents who need day care while you are out working? There are many elder care robots already being used in many countries.

Or maybe you just want to play ping-pong. Then, meet FORPHEUS, the ping-pong robot created by Omron, a global leader in sensing and control technology. Yes, you heard right - ping pong. FORPHEUS doesn’t talk, carry things or even appear human-like. If anything, it looks like an oversized mechanical spider. Unlike a spider, however, FORPHEUS can sense where you are standing, how you are holding you racket, and analyze the best return shot to beat you at the game.

FORPHEUS ping-pong robot

Omron developed the FORPHEUS ping-pong robot as an experience-based demonstration of its vision of an evolution in the relationship between human and machine. Omron seeks to develop technologies that help create a richer society, creating a future of optimal "harmony" between human and machines in which machines have evolved from "co-operating" with goals set by humans to assisting people in making decisions for more creative lives.

Omron believes that this robot is a symbol of cooperation between humans and machines. In order to create the best working environment for humans and robots, the machines need to be able to sense and feel human beings and their emotions.

Omron’s FORPHEUS shows how machines interact with humans

Omron, which has its roots in electronics and automation, has a long history in supporting industry and society with innovative solutions and advanced technologies. Underlying this is a strong belief that human beings can live in harmony with machines.

Yukio Kishida, Business Planning Manager, PT Omron Electronics Indonesia said, “Every day at Omron, we confirm this belief through extensive research and development. By innovatively combining human capabilities and robot competences, greater utilitarian benefits are being delivered. Meanwhile the use of artificial intelligence (AI), machine intelligence as well as sensors in robots will add a new dimension that brings robots even closer to humans.”

Thanks to this on-going work, robots are increasingly becoming a part of daily life, with people being assisted by robots, at home, at work, in school and even at play.

In potentially hazardous industries, machines can partner with and look out for the safety of humans; therefore, workers go back home safely after work and meet their families.

Omron’s competencies in sensing and control technology help develop safer, more secure and more comfortable, and more environmentally friendly vehicles for consumers. For example Omron’s facial recognition technology can be adopted to create a safe driving condition.

These automotive innovations are also allowing Omron to help build healthy communities. In the areas of cardiovascular disease, for example, people can benefit from early detection by using Omron’s digital blood pressure monitor at home for quick, simple and accurate results. And through Omron’s Project Zero line of wearable devices, treatment and management of diseases is even more effective because medical practitioners can constantly monitor their patients’ health, remotely and autonomously in real time.

The future is promising, and Omron is excited to be contributing relentlessly to a more comfortable life for everyone. Be it in a father’s working place or the living room of his home where he shared the best memories with his daughter.