Can Robotics Really Save The Environment?

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Author – Myrtle Bautista

Whenever there’s some sort of apocalypse shown in movies, robots are seen scattered everywhere. While fantastical, they are often portrayed as the final caretakers of a world long abandoned by their masters. People don’t seem to associate environmentalism with robotics, but they forget that robots are just tools. Like any tool, it’s up to the user how they use it.

Robots are technologically advanced enough to help us in the fight against climate change. It is humanity’s responsibility to utilize these resources to save the environment. Right from students writing about climate change to businesses looking to be more sustainable, robotics can prove to be a fascinating road to take.

Automated Labor For Energy Efficiency

One of the problems of sustainability has always been manpower. It’s difficult to focus on climate change when the logistics are so hard to solve. Automation can streamline a lot of processes that cost businesses millions in excess resources. Automated robot machinery can cost-effectively help businesses to reduce their carbon emissions.

In addition, it lets businesses do much more for theoretically way less. There’s a smaller room for error when it comes to properly setting up robots. In addition, they can use heavy machinery such as in factories without undue risk to human beings. Of course, the technology is still young and costly, but it’ll get there eventually.

For instance, an Australian startup named SkyGrow is utilizing “Growbots” that traverse large swathes of open land to plant more saplings at a faster rate.  Not only are these seeds planted in a proper wa, but they are also diversified. This ensures a healthy ecosystem to grow in the future. The Growbot is also built to be all-terrain, so even if the terrain gets bumpy, it can just roll over it with no problem.

Assistive Maintenance for Renewable Energy

Robots are being employed to help with the upkeep of renewable energy facilities. Whether it’s the construction of wind towers or real-time repairs of solar panels, robots are slowly being implemented to assist in these ventures. Robotics can be used to improve the efficiency of solar and wind power systems, as well as to build and maintain renewable energy infrastructure such as hydroelectric dams. With the sheer size and scaling up of renewable energy projects in the future, robotics will become a necessary aspect of RE maintenance.

In addition to assistive maintenance, robotics also offers efficiency in the planning of renewable energy plants. Data analysis has become the standard for any major plans humanity might want. Robots can process a lot of data quickly, and notify the engineers of any problems in the facility. It’s also going to be self-sustaining at some point, as robots will also be running on the energy they help produce.

Weather Analysis

Keeping track of global weather is an essential aspect of tracking climate change. Without weather watch, humanity wouldn’t know if our sustainability efforts are having an effect. It may not be visible within a person’s lifetime, but weather records maintained by robots in all manner of settings will prove to be valuable to the next generation. They’ll know what to do moving forward. Saving the environment begins with knowing how much it is changing.

Carbon Storage

Robotics can monitor and maintain carbon capture and storage facilities that capture carbon dioxide emissions in power plants and other industrial units to be stored underground. For the most part, they exist to just lessen the carbon output. However, there are now clever ways in which scientists can utilize the stored carbon more practically.

One such idea of turning carbon dioxide into concrete blocks for construction is showing promising progress. A research team at the University of California, Los Angeles led by Indian-origin professor Gaurav Sant, has developed a breakthrough CO2concrete system that transforms waste CO2 from factories into blocks of concrete.

Efficient Recycling

Robotics is already becoming the most efficient recyclers of solid waste material. Robots are really handy for sorting materials on a conveyor belt, separating recyclable materials from non-recyclable materials and even separating glass, paper and plastic trash. Further, robotics can also be used to clean and process materials after they have been sorted out.

Additionally, robots can be used for demolition of old buildings, making it easier to separate and recyclable building materials from these structures. Robotics can also be used to compact materials in order to save space in landfills and to recover useful materials such as extracting useful metals from electronic waste, which means less waste overall.

Conclusion – Robotics Can Save The Environment

Robotics can help pave the way for humanity to see a greener tomorrow. If not for us, then for the next generation. Further, a lot of value can be gained from kids learning robotics. It’s a growing field that needs more minds within it. Robotics can change humanity for the better, and climate change is just one of the many ways it can accomplish that.

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