A closer working relationship between humans and robots has been identified as one of the more exciting tech developments that could be on the cards for 2021.
In an interview with the BBC, Professor Elizabeth Sklar of the University of Lincoln, forecast that the year ahead could see robots come out of closed factory floors and interact much more with humans going about their day.
Prof Sklar noted that, currently, most of the cutting-edge robots are going about their business behind closed doors – typically in controlled areas of factories where people cannot get in and, crucially, get in the way. However, this could all be set to change, with 2021 seeing an “increased prevalence of robots coexisting in spaces with people.” She added that robots could soon integrate so seamlessly into modern life that “you may have people who are completely unaware that there might be a robot driving down a corridor.”
These changes are being driven by increased demand in the marketplace, with events such as the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit expediting the search for robotic solutions among businesses that may otherwise have held off for a little longer.
Elsewhere, there could be a trend towards more collaboration across tech developers, who can team up to beat cyber criminals.
Currently, different component parts of a tech ecosystem are built by different teams, and often different companies. As such, it’s understandable for errors in integration to creep in, as no team will be expert at the workings of a separate developer. This provides weaknesses in the system – something that enterprising cyber criminals are able to exploit.
With teams working in a more integrated fashion, the end result may not only be better, but more secure too.
Security expert Window Snyder explained: “We all can’t be experts at everything, so this is the year that [developers] recognise that it’s hard to do everything yourself.
“What makes more sense is leveraging security functionality from platforms, so that we’re not all reinventing the wheel in every different development team. There should be some places it’s appropriate to find third party libraries, to find support from a framework for a platform.”