For Volvo, however – a Swedish multinational manufacturing company – nothing could be further from the truth. Not only do they envision a future where robots take over the job of waste collection and disposal, they’re currently doing everything in their power to ensure that vision comes to light.
“Imagine a robot that quietly and discreetly enters your neighborhood, collects your refuse bin and empties it into the refuse truck. It is done without waking the sleeping families and without heavy lifting for the refuse truck’s driver. This is the purpose of ROAR, a joint project with the aim to develop tomorrow’s smart transport solutions.”
– Volvo Group
To achieve this, Volvo has teamed up with Chalmers University of Technology, Mälardalen University, Penn State University, and the waste recycling company Renova. Together, their goal for robots taking over the waste disposal industry in our near-future should come to light. The overall purpose of this project is help people envision how intelligent machines could be integrated into everyday activities throughout society. With each University participating in this project, students will be helping Volvo engineer robots that’ll be commanded by a new operating system and quietly collect trash as swiftly as possible, resulting in a more time-efficient service.
The future of automation will surely take a toll on the human labor force, enforcing the likelihood of mass technological unemployment. But with the right welfare system operating in tandem, perhaps a Universal Basic Income (UBI), these robots could very well be humanity’s liberation from the workforce. Waste disposal is an extremely dirty job, with several health hazards that comes alongside it. If robots could be brought in that’ll alleviate any necessity of human workers to be exposed to such a toxic environment, then we should do everything in our power to ensure it occurs.