What's happening in the robotics field for July 2023? Welcome to the 39th installment in our monthly series, What's Trending in Robotics Field! We cover all the breaking news, hot issues, trending stories, and cool stuff that's happening — or has happened — in the robotics industry.
There were plenty of amazing things happening in the robotics industry throughout July. Let's see what caught our attention this month with the trending news in robotics for July 2023.
Talk to any 90’s kid and they’ll likely have a visceral reaction to the word “Morph” when it comes to robotics technology — an effect of immensely popular “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” series of that era. Well, the new “Morphbot” might not have to fight off armies of alien baddies, but — according to articles in Interesting Engineering, ABC News, New Atlas, and Yanko Design — this very cool new robot might be the key to exploring new lands. The ever-changing Morphbot switches between wheels, propellers, legs, and hands, depending on the type of terrain it needs to traverse. How would you like to see the Morphbot explore the universe?
Step aside, Gustavo Dudamel and Lydia Tar — there’s a new conductor on the scene. As covered in ClassicFM, the Hindustan Times, Inceptive Mind, NDTV, Interesting Engineering, and Japan News, a robot conductor named EveR 6 took the stage for its first-ever performance. We’ve already seen the use of holograms in live music performances (take a look at this article from the Times for some background); do you think we’ll eventually see some combination of robotic musicians and holograms touring in the future? Perhaps a robotic Rolling Stones band really could tour forever.
Some amazing news out of the United States: as covered in LaboratoryEquipment.com, Medical Design and Outsourcing, and New Atlas, the first robotic liver transplant took place in St. Louis earlier in July. Take a look at the articles for an in-depth account of how this robot-powered transplant changes the game from traditional transplants — it’s much less invasive, for one part. It’s going to be fascinating to see where robotic surgery goes in the future.
How about some “Quick Hits” from the month of July?
Finally, let’s take a look at one of the trending stories in the RobotShop community. Here’s a story from Assembly magazine, looking at new innovations in automation for the automotive industry — specifically, the remarkable assembly-line creation of solenoids at a Wisconsin plant. It’s remarkable to think of the evolution of the assembly line; what would Henry Ford think of his process, now used by robots to create critical car parts? Will we ever see a day in which the only way humans are involved in car construction or transport is as a passenger? If robotics advancement continues, that may be the end game.
There is a lot of news out there, but these stories caught our eye this month. If we could give one big theme for the month, it would be "healing.” One of the most extraordinary robotics stories to come out in many months came out of St. Louis, where robots (assisted and guided by a team of doctors) performed a liver transplant on a human — offering a wide range of benefits beyond traditional surgery. Where do you think this is going in the future? Would you be 100% comfortable with this type of medical procedure? Do you think this will be the norm, and pure human medical work the outlier in the coming years?
The bottom line: robotics, as a whole, is on a roll. It applies to nearly every aspect of our lives and touches every element of our actions — from how we eat to where we will go as a species. Every month, it's a wonder to see where robotics has gone — and to imagine where the technology will go.
One more thing, readers — if you know of anything we should add for the next edition, tell us about it! What caught your attention in the robotics world throughout July? Comment below, and we might feature it in our next issue!
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Picture credit: Nature Communications / AFP / Katie Gertler/Washington University / Revolute Robotics / Jason Halayko / Red Bull Content Pool / NASA