Over the last decennary, emerging engineerings have no uncertainty influenced about every sector of society and concern. Whether by their promise of better society and concern or by the expletive of disquiet etched in their wings ; Robotics and Nanotechnology, among a few other emerging engineerings, have surely played a portion in determining today ‘s concern and society for tomorrow.
The outgrowth of Nanotechnology and Robotics was, to some extent, instigated and inspired by certain cardinal demands and chases of society and concern. The concern desire for cost-efficiency and society ‘s chase of sustainability in the signifier of better wellness attention, a cleansing agent environment, security, etc are merely a glance of what may hold triggered the outgrowth of these among other engineerings. However, the engineerings ‘ success, or deficiency of it, is to a big extent dependant on, the overall short and long term, how good they respond to the primary demands and chases of concerns and society.
This study focuses on Nanotechnology and Robotics discoursing some of their varied scope of practical, theoretical and experimental applications. The study, in kernel, draws from the diverse applications of these two engineerings, their deductions and impacts on concerns and society hitherto and possibly in the close hereafter. The analysis, besides acknowledges and draws from lessons learnt in predating and modern-day engineerings such as familial technology and atomic energy. The analysis shows that the success of the engineerings depends on their close evolutionary interaction with their occupant concerns and society which are besides altering in response albeit at a different gait.
The influence of emerging engineerings on about every sector of concern and society can non be overstated over the last decennary. Whether by their promise of better society and concern or by the expletive of disquiet etched in their wings ; Robotics and Nanotechnology, among other emerging engineerings in the frontline, have surely played a portion in determining today ‘s concern and society for tomorrow.
The outgrowth of Nanotechnology and Robotics may, to some extent, have been instigated and inspired by certain cardinal demands and chases of society and concern. The desire for greater efficiency – cost or otherwise in concern, better wellness attention, a cleansing agent environment, security and etc for sustainable society are merely a glance of chases that may hold triggered the outgrowth of these two among other engineerings. However, merely as their preceding or modern-day opposite numbers such as familial technology, their success, or deficiency of it, is to a big extent dependant on the overall short and long term impact they portend for concern and society.
Roboticss and Nanotechnology are two among the foremost of infinite emerging engineerings ushered into the new century whose impact on society and concern is yet to be to the full realised or determined. Determining the impacts of these two is no simple undertaking. The scope of applications for these two engineerings, whether already practical or still theoretical, is rather tremendous and diverse doing it even more hard for one to set up the full extent of their impact. There is nevertheless no uncertainty that these two have had their portion of both positive and negative impacts on concern and society and will go on to during their development. Whatever the impacts, their step may be drawn from how concerns and society have responded so far. Many surveies done on these engineerings indicate tremendous initial investings by concerns and more late, measured but however of import investings by society.
Nano-scale engineering or Nanotechnology has been defined by and large as “ the creative activity of functional stuffs, devices, and systems through control of affair on the nanometre ( 1 to 100+ nanometers ) length graduated table and the development of novel belongingss and phenomena developed at that graduated table. ” [ 1 ]
Nanotechnology, merely as many other engineerings before, has particularly pledged tremendous benefits for concerns and society. Many surveies indicate tremendous initial investings by concerns and more late, measured but however of import investings by society expecting largely the benefits it promises. Nonetheless the surveies besides show that it bears its ain trade name of expletives or menaces likewise particularly for society. Some of the menaces may good be known, anticipated and resolved in good clip. Others may merely be revealed subsequently on in its development. Either manner, it is imperative that its benefits and identifiable menaces be moderately considered and embedded in their development if these two, among others related, are traveling to win.
On the other manus, a automaton is by and large defined as “ a reprogrammable, multifunctional operator designed to travel stuff, parts, tools, or specialised devices through assorted programmed gestures for the public presentation of a assortment of undertakings ” ( Robot Institute of America, 1979 ) [ 15 ] . Robotics is therefore concerned chiefly with the survey, design, edifice and operation of robot systems for certain specialized undertakings [ 14 ] .
Business and society ‘s desire for greater efficiency – cost and better wellness attention, a cleansing agent environment, security etc severally besides continue to animate heavy investings in more cost-effective engineerings. Achieving these either by mechanization, miniaturization or by the usage of better edifice blocks or stuffs for engineering and merchandises are among the chief attacks that converge research and development of Roboticss and Nano-scale engineering or Nanotechnology among other related engineerings.
Apart from the brief debut above, this study is organized into two chief subdivisions. The first subdivision covers a brief description on the basicss of Nanotechnology. This subdivision is followed by treatments on some of the rule practical, theoretical and experimental applications following and concentrating on their impact on concern and society. The 2nd subdivision trades with robotics and likewise depicting the basicss of robot systems. This subdivision excessively is followed by an scrutiny of the major applications of robotics with a focal point on their impact on society and concern.
As mentioned in the debut, Nanotechnology by and large involves technology at the nano-scale degree ( 1 to100nm ) leveraging fresh belongingss and phenomena of affair at this graduated table. The construct of technology at this graduated table may good be attributed to Feyman ( 1959 ) [ 2 ] . Modern apprehension of Nanotechnology as defined above was built on the initial construct by other high bookmans like Drexler ( 1992 ) [ 3 ] . Merkle ( 1997 ) [ 4 ] besides went on to suggest extra constructs like edifice stuffs by specifically positioning each atom and cost effectual mass-assembly of the atoms
At the stopping point of the last century in 2000, presented with the awaited progresss and subsequent benefits of Nanotechnology by advocates such as Drexler ( 1992 ) [ 3 ] , Merkle ( 1997 ) [ 4 ] among others, galvanized leaders in technological research and development, cutting border invention and concern to meet and discourse extensively the deductions of technology at this graduated table. At a workshop organized by the United States National Science Foundation ( NSF ) , taking experts gathered and to show their positions on Nanotechnology and its deductions concentrating its possible applications in concern and society. A resulting study on the proceedings of the workshop presents instead varied positions and perpectives, possibly due to the diverse applications of the engineering or backgrounds of the participants. However, the pressing demand for a foundational and comprehensive analysis of the engineering and its deductions seems to be the prima subject. This was a defining minute in the development of Nanotechnology. Below is a sum-up of nanotechnology ‘s focal point and rule applications as reported in the NSF ( 2001 ) [ 5 ] workshop and are being refined with clip as shown in the National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan ( 2007 ) [ 6 ] :
Industrial Manufacturing – Materials and merchandises, Chemical Processing
Electronicss – application in Information Technologies and Communications
Medicine and Health – applications in Medicine and Pharmaceuticals.
Aerospace – For aerospace and planetal exploratory applications.
Transportation system and civil substructure – Igniter Materials
Sustainability – in Energy, Water, Agriculture & A ; Food, Materials, Clean environment
Defense mechanism and Security applications.
Even though the current and possible applications of nanotechnology range deeper than revealed by the above sum-up, there is no uncertainty that the above applications have impacted both concerns and society over the last decennary in one manner or another. Some research workers have even suggested at the outgrowth of Nanotechnology signalling the entry into the “ Age of Transitions ” [ 6 ] [ 7 ] there would be profound moving ridges of alteration whether in society or concern.
Impact of Nanotechnology on concern
Every class of application highlighted above is representative of a scope of industries and concerns that have already responded to, or must shortly make so, to the diverse and huge influences, possible or practical, wielded by Nanotechnology. Some of these influences are surely non alone to nanotechnology and may hold been wielded by modern-day and predating engineerings. Others, nevertheless, such as the rapid parallel progresss in research and development barely witnessed by predating engineerings have compelled many a concern in any of the application classs to reconfigure itself and its attack. These rhythms of reconfiguration will even be more rapid when Nanotechnology converges with other emerging engineerings that portend similar features. Good illustrations are traffic on the cyberspace ; wireless capacity and calculating public presentation which are said to duplicate every 6, 9 and 18 months severally [ 7 ] .
Industrial Fabrication: Nanoscale technology of stuffs and merchandises forms the majority of current and possibly even future applications of nanotechnology in industrial fabrication. This has witnessed the debut of new stuffs and merchandises and therefore new markets for concerns over the last 10 old ages. The U.S. National Science Foundation ( NSF ) forecasted the 2010 – 2015 Nanotechnology market at over 1 trillion US dollars as shown in the chart below.
Chart 1: Estimates of the nanotechnology market – by 2010-2015
USD millions: 1.1
Beginning: National Science Foundation
Subsequent research ( RNCOS research ) [ 8 ] has upwards revised estimations within half the period settling at 1.6 trillion USD by the twelvemonth 2013. The market estimates likely continue to animate a steady addition in investing. Cientifica estimated the planetary authorities support stood at a little less than 9.75 billion USD for nanotechnology. The US authorities entirely invested 1.6 billion USD a steady addition from about 500 billion in 2001. [ 8 ]
Apart from specialised stuffs such as nano-composite polymers and other nanoscale structured stuffs and chemicals ; the stock list list of consumer merchandises with a nanotech constituent presently stands at over 800 and will evidently go on to turn [ 9 ] . With this sort of diverseness in footings of merchandises and an spread outing market, concerns, particularly those in fabrication, will make good to rapidly accommodate continue their success.
Electronicss: The possible application of nanotechnology in electronics is set to take the miniaturization of computing machines to the following degree. It is besides set to better the cost-efficiency and public presentation of electronic merchandises even presenting merchandise fluctuation that have been hitherto unrealistic. [ 10 ]
Figure 1: Fabrication cost projection for logic at silicon-area and transistor degrees as illustrated by Doering ( 2000 ) [ 5 ]
As shown in Figure 1, the cost of accomplishing electronic map is on the diminution therefore animating the continued debut of new electronic merchandises and concern and a consequent the market for the merchandises. This will no uncertainty besides augment progresss in related countries such as telecommunications further opening up chances for concern as illustrated in Doering ‘s ( 2000 ) [ 5 ] projections in Figure 2 below.
Figure 2: Illustrates projected growing of electronic market topographic point with diminishing characteristic sizes and map cost. Doering ( 2000 ) [ 5 ]
Medicine and Health: Nanotechnology has been applied in medical specialty, health care and pharmaceuticals to present better drug bringing and diagnosing mechanisms ( targeted ) [ 10 ] [ 11 ] . The resulting progresss achieved hitherto continue to pull, non merely authorities support, but private concerns and organisations are besides fall ining the disturbance puting themselves in nanotech medical specialty and health care. Of class there ‘s the chance, albeit some of it being still experimental, of deciding age old jobs like malignant neoplastic disease.
Figure 3: An illustration of Nanotech funding Adapted from ETC Nanotech Report ( 2006 ) [ 11 ]
There is besides the chance of doing feasible, merchandises that have antecedently non been feasible for concern. The overall positive impact of nanotechnology on concern related to medicate and wellness attention is that it introduces a new scope of merchandises later spread outing the bing markets or even reconfiguring them all together [ 5 ] , [ 10 ] . Some surveies estimated the universe market ‘s enlargement for these merchandises from 1 billion USD in 2005 to be tenfold at 10billion USD by 2010 [ 11 ] .
On the flipside, an spread outing merchandise base besides means the debut of merchandises that carry along with them originally unintended effects or even merchandises that are downright harmful to the concern side of medical specialty and health care [ 10 ] [ 11 ] .
Aerospace: Businesss and organisations in aerospace research and development have besides invested themselves rather to a great extent with the purpose of harvesting some of the benefits of Nanotech application over the last decennary or so. The debut or possible debut of lighter, stronger nanostructured stuffs or edifice blocks for aerospace equipment can merely bode a positive mentality for this concern since this finally implies an eventual decrease in costs e.g. in fuelling every bit good as wholesome aerospace undertakings [ 10 ] .
Transportation system and civil substructure: – Lighter high-strength stuffs developed through nanotechnology implies a decrease of costs ; whether in fuelling or care in transit and infrastructural developments.
Impact of Nanotechnology on society
The about unequivocal nature of concern, at least in nonsubjective makes much simpler the exercising of nanotechnologies impacts on concern. This nevertheless, is non the instance when it comes to finding social deductions and impacts brought approximately by engineerings ; nano or otherwise. Many attempted surveies at this exercising acknowledge this trouble [ 5 ] [ 10 ] . The period of clip required for one to really find a certain engineering ‘s impact on society every bit good as the frequently unpredictable nature of society have been cited in the surveies among major challenges to the truth of finding social deduction of engineering ; nanotechnology in this instance.
The impact of nanotechnology and its related progresss on society flexible joints on certain major countries of life that are of import to the make-up of that society. Below are some of the major countries cited by some surveies like the NSF ( 2001 ) [ 5 ] study on Social Deductions of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and the Royal Society & A ; Royal Academy of Engineering ( 2004 ) [ 10 ] study on Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: chances and uncertainnesss:
Health attention: Among the benefits pledged by nanotechnology, certain applications are meant to better the quality of wellness attention. Society at an single degree desires wellness and long life. New merchandises and engineerings such as targeted drug bringing mechanisms and nosologies introduced by nanoscale technology for wellness attention assure a healthy and quality for persons and society as a whole. [ 11 ]
On the flipside, some merchandises developed through nanotechnology besides pose a menace to wellness. Some nanomaterials and atoms have presented risky features to human wellness and public presentation. Analysiss and surveies on some of the nano merchandises and engineerings which present unintended wellness jeopardies recommend responsible research and application of nanotechnologies [ 5 ] .
Sustainability: Society looks for the sustainability of the resources that are its lifeblood. The current application and potency of Nanotechnology concentrating on sustainable energy, H2O supply, agribusiness & A ; nutrient, stuffs and clean environment straight impact on the society ‘s quality of life.
Energy applications of nanotechnology pursue a parallel progress in accomplishing sustainable energy edifice on bing engineerings. The threesome attack trades with: efficient energy transition from primary signifier utilizing a figure of nanotech mechanisms e.g, nano-engineered solar cells, efficient storage energy storage through the usage of supercapacitors developed through nanotechnology, and efficient energy salvaging mechanisms e.g. through the usage of better thermoinsulators created utilizing by nanomaterials [ 12 ]
Sustainable energy is tightly bound with a clean environment. Achieving the former dramatically improves the later.
Water supply is besides an issue of concern for society where nanotech merchandises and attacks are being used to better the degree of H2O supply either e.g. utilizing nanotech for desalinization. Agribusiness and nutrient production are besides set to profit from sustained research and development of nanotech application to agribusiness.
Defense mechanism and Security applications: Defense mechanism and security have long inspired the outgrowth of engineerings possibly because societies have frequently been reconfigured by struggle. The practical or even merely the possible applications of nanotechnology to defense mechanism and security either in military arms and equipment or in intelligence continue to deeply affect society. [ 5 ]
A cardinal concern for society is who controls the resulting progresss of nanotechnology therefore raising legal and ethical issues. Surveies show that society demands to react at a quicker gait by being involved right from the beginning, seting in topographic point and redefining policy mechanisms, ordinance and control of these engineerings [ 10 ] .
Education and Culture: A combination of nanotechnology and other modern-day engineerings such as Biotechnology and Information Technology portends a true “ Age of Transitions ” for society as has been argued by some experts [ 7 ] ; a clip when societal constructions and civilizations are quickly reconfigured and reengineered by a rapid technological development and eventual revolution.
Roboticss is country of emerging engineerings that involves the survey, design, building and operation of automaton system ( s ) . Slightly variable definitions of a automaton to embrace humanlike features describe a broadened modern construct of robotics [ 13 ] .
The application of Robotics, since the first practical realisation of the construct in the early 60s, has progressively worked its manner into many sectors of today ‘s concern and society. The primary application of robotics has largely to make with undertakings that are either excessively unsafe or those that are excessively insistent and excessively precise for worlds. In kernel, robotics seeks to heighten human public presentation. The general countries in concern and society that continue to profit from application of robotics in include [ 14 ] :
Industrial, chiefly in fabricating either in precise or insistent assembly fix among others – so far the most constituted application of robotics.
Healthcare – acting complex and precise surgical processs such as Radiosurgery, Tele-robotic surgery among other medical processs.
Aerospace, Military and security – public presentation of unsafe and precise undertakings associating to defence and security illustration of practical applications include the remote-controlled forward passs and land vehicles for surveillance, reconnaissance and geographic expedition of risky environment.
Catastrophe Recovery and Infrastructure – once more, the usage of robotics for the recovery and sometime fix of unsafe environments and hard to make countries of substructure severally.
Consumer Robotics – for daily undertakings and service proviso – the least developed country of robotics but picking up gait.
Impact of Robotics on concern
The robotics ‘ rule inspiration of heightening human public presentation and the cardinal aims of increasing productiveness and quality in concern foreshadow the impact of robotics in concern. The application of progressing robotics to assorted countries of traditional concern has and continues to oblige alteration in concern design and attack. Business and organisations trading in the primary countries of robotics application have had to reconfigure themselves inspired by this alteration.
In many ways, the impact of robotics on fabrication concern foreshadows the impact of robotics on about all other countries of industrial robotics application. Manufacturing therefore may good be viewed as representative of other countries Infrastructure development, Agriculture and health care.
Fabrication: the extended industrial application of robotics has, to a big extent, improved the efficiency of fabrication concerns that have decently invested themselves in the authority of robotics. Case surveies on some of these concerns show pronounced betterments in their public presentation, quality. Chrysler, for illustration, a taking car maker was able to cut cost and better its flexibleness by remodelling its concern for the market and by leveraging advanced robotics. Their application of robotics enabled them to cost-efficiently bring forth a wider scope of merchandises [ 16 ] .
The increasing demand for application of robotics in other fabricating countries like packaging and processing is besides opening up new concern chances for robotics. The tendency in fabrication now is that more and more concerns are inclined to robotics and related mechanization for their being.
However, although the benefits of using robotics are worthwhile on the long term for concern, the initial investings are, more frequently than non, prohibitory. This has been the instance and will likely go on to hunt concern into the following coevals. Parallel progresss in complimentary engineerings nevertheless probably to extenuate job.
In health care, apart from the public presentation of insistent undertakings, the cutting border application of robotics is largely towards the public presentation of extremely complex surgical processs. However, robotics application here is tightly bound to the homo in the sense that automatons are non independent.
Consumer robotics is a reasonably new application country that involves a much smaller graduated table of applications compared to industrial. This might be at the merchandise distribution degree like distributing machines…
Military and security: investings in robotics for military and security usage are taking the progress in robotics as a engineering through research and development. Often, the end product of these progresss translates to new concern chances when converted or modified for civilian applications. Contemporary engineerings such the cyberspace and wireless telecommunication were first military and defense mechanism engineerings before they became commercialized for concern.
Aerospace applications: Robotics application in explorative research and development like aerospace are besides lending to the promotion of robotics and in bend inspiring fresh concern country applications such as substructure care and conveyance.
Impact of Robotics on society
As mentioned above, robotics portends to better and heighten human public presentation. To some extent, this does impact society positively. A society ‘s wellness and safety is improved for case by the usage of automatons to execute unsafe and risky undertakings.
However, big scale industrial robotics application may intend occupation losingss particularly when automatons begin to replace human workers. The deductions here are far making. Apart from the short term effects of struggle, there is the long term reconfiguration of society to suit the alterations. In the long term, instruction and preparation and other related countries have to be reviewed.
There are besides broader social issues such as the demand for environment sustainability where robotics portends both positive and negative impacts.
The application of robotics in military defense mechanism, arms and security such as the usage remote-controlled aerial vehicles for surveillance revisits the concern of who controls engineerings therefore raising legal and ethical issues.
Roboticss and other complimentary engineerings continue to act upon societal development by straight set uping alteration in instruction and societal civilization. In other universes robotics has contributed to the alteration in the manner we live our lives. There is an increasing social dependance on engineerings even though they do n’t decide age old social challenges such as poorness and justness.
Emerging of engineerings frequently invite examinations in the involvement of concern and society – the ultimate consumers of engineering. Nanotechnology and Robotics are no different. This examination, as has been illustrated in this study, frequently takes the signifier of appraisals on the impacts of these engineerings on concern and society. Again, as shown, measuring and jointing the impacts of engineerings is non a simple exercising – particularly when they are merely emerging. It is frequently a procedure informed by diverse and sometimes opposing positions from taking experts and representatives from society and concern. In the terminal, the impacts identified, positive or negative, specify the viability of an emerging engineering.
The appraisal of Nanotechnology and Robotics in this study, possibly because of the breadth and deepness of their possible applications, outputs an overall positive mentality for concern and society and in bend for their success as emerging engineerings.