Skip to main content

Future Of Robots On Display In San Diego

Photo caption: Two small robots are on display at the RoboUniverse Conference at the San Die...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Two small robots are on display at the RoboUniverse Conference at the San Diego Convention Center, Dec. 16, 2015.

Audio

The future will be led by humans but built by robots, according to organizers of the RoboUnivers Conference at the San Diego Convention Center.

Robots are faster than us, stronger than us and they are here, now. Robotics is a growing part of our everyday lives and Richard Erb, executive director of the RoboUniverse Conferance, said that is a good thing.

“Well they’re here, they’re at this show and they’re part of our lives,” Erb said. "They are not to be feared."

RoboUniverse's organizers, a three-day conference that ended Wednesday, shared their optimistic vision of robots and the future at the San Diego Convention Center. It's the first year of the conference.

Erb said the robotics industry is still relatively new.

“We are really at the forefront of an emerging industry that’s in the very early cycle of its growth,” Erb said.

According to Robotics Trends, 13 percent of households will own a robot by 2020. But workers shouldn’t be afraid of robotics, Erb said. Machines are doing jobs people don't want to do, or shouldn’t do.

“There’s a lot of different things I could be doing in this world other than manual labor,” Erb said. “Dull, dirty, dangerous type jobs. Robots are filling that void and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”

The ability to function autonomously is what makes a good robot.

“But really what makes a robot is they can react, it can avoid, it can alter its path,” Erb said. “It can think and respond to its environment.”

Looking into the next decade, Erb sees a bright economic future led by the business robotics.

“These are the hottest areas of robotics development and growth probably over the next decade,” Erb said.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.