Fleet Managers of Robots: The Heads of Personnel of the Future

In this last decade and in a surprisingly natural way, robots have become part of our daily life. Cleaning appliances such as intelligent vacuum cleaners or a

Fleet Managers of Robots: The Heads of Personnel of the Future

In this last decade and in a surprisingly natural way, robots have become part of our daily life. Cleaning appliances such as intelligent vacuum cleaners or autonomous cars are becoming increasingly becoming daily use tools to which the citizen on foot has been adapting.

In the workplace, the greater cognitive capacity of artificial intelligence devices is automating tasks that a few years ago could only be imagined that they will perform machines in science fiction movies. Its functions are no longer limited to industrial work and are being implanted in many other work spaces. Hence, each more important from professionals with the necessary knowledge to design them, schedule them, perform the necessary maintenance tasks and train them to carry out non-linear tasks. It is about those known as fleet managers.

"Its main function is the planning and monitoring of the automated activities carried out by the robots," explains Sergio de los Santos, Laboratory Director and Tech Tech Innovation. "These fleet managers are responsible for controlling different types of robots: guided vehicles , Autonomous mobile machines, drones, collaborative robots and autonomous vehicles of great tonnage such as those used in mining. "

As for training, there is no specific profile that is dedicated to this task. But, as Senén Barros, Director of the Singular Research Center in Intelligent Technologies at the University of Santiago de Compostela and Professor in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, the knowledge of robotics and programming, at least for the time being, are indispensable for Assume this responsibility. "Now the deployment of robots is greater and increasingly based on artificial intelligence, so those managers require a specific and intensive qualification."

Universities such as Santiago de Compostela or King Juan Carlos are some of the few that offer races as robotic engineering, but the forecast is that little by little each time the centers that have similar degrees, since the demand for this Type of profiles is increasing. As a mud explains, although technology is not for such an affordable moment, "also SMEs, from the sector sector, they will be increasingly automated."

The ability of these automata equipment has pierced the limits of human imagination in many cases. Now, for example, law firms use robots for document management and comparison of sentences.

But this evolutionary jump in robotics generates, in turn, what British economist Keynes denominated in 1930 as "massive technological unemployment". "Until now, the process of automation of tasks was very slow and the people who lost their job could easily access another with complementary training. That is no longer like that," explains mud.

A priori, the figures on the future of work are positive, as demonstrated by the report published by Bank of America in May of this year. According to this document, the World Economic Forum estimates that automation will create 12 million net jobs, since robots will eliminate 85 million jobs, but will generate 97 million new ones. Although it is not only a quantitative issue.

"Can people who seem displaced from their robots can assume these management work? At the moment, they do not have the tools or sufficient knowledge," reflects the professor.

Projects such as Logiblock, developed by the Polytechnic University of Valencia, can prevent much of these people who lose their job because of task automation is completely helpless. This digital fleet management tool, applied at the moment to logistics tasks, translates the high-level instructions that a human wants to delegate on a robot team at commands with much more granularity so that machines can understand them.

In turn, Logiblock has screens and panels that monitor the task and allow the user to control the machines at all times to see if the plan traced is correctly followed. "In case of failure or blocking that can not be resolved automatically, the tool warns the manager and allows you to replanate the task in a simple way," says Francisco Fraile, one of the researchers of the Polytechnic of Valencia.

In the creation of Logiblock, which remains at an experimental phase since it was launched in July of this year, technological centers assigned to universities from the Valencian Community, manufacturers of robots and technological consultants in the region have collaborated. Its main objective is clear: Making fleet management can also be a reality in SMEs that do not have so many means.

For this, it reduces maximum spending on the equipment, with efficient robots of limited energy consumption, prepared to be more productive in long periods of time and that allow a faster return on investments, and also seek that the management of the Logiblock is as simple as possible. In this way, not only the robotics experts can effectively manage a fleet, but, in addition, other non-qualified professionals can recycle this work. "The system to send instructions is very intuitive, which allows the company to also reduce costs when hiring staff," explains Fraile.

Tools such as Logiblock facilitate the lives of fleet managers, allowing them, as Santos says, "devote their activity to new planning and the resolution of complex situations that are not based on the interpretation of massive data." But human work is still indispensable to carry a robot team in the right way. "The idea is that the person in charge works with the fleet of robots through an interface in the most similar way as it would with a human team," says Fraile.

It is clear that the advancement of technology reaches unsuspected limits, allowing robots to take part of the tasks that their creators did when programming them. The challenge for machines and people in the future will be to learn to share work space. "There will be no journalist robot or a professor robot. But many of the tasks that are carried out in all professions have a potential degree of automation," concludes mud.

Updated Date: 07 November 2021, 12:31

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