10 Unusual Jobs for Robots

6 min read

Artificial intelligence has taken over many jobs, but here are some we bet you might not would have guessed are done by robots. AI has begun to infiltrate job functions that at one point were exclusively human oriented. Just because a job may require a “human touch” doesn’t mean that AI can’t get their “hands” involved with the process. Continue reading to see which jobs are getting a more AI feel these days.

10. Psychics

Crystal Ball
Source: Pixabay

What if a robot could predict what you want? Well, that’s exactly the type of thing researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are working on. According to an article published on ZDNet.com, researchers are teaching robots to read nonverbal cues to predict what those operating the robots want. For example, let’s say you and a friend were painting a house. And, while you’re up on the ladder, you glance down at the paint scraper you left on the ground. Your friend sees you looking at it and decides to pick it up and hand it to you. “The way we do this is by picking up non-verbal cues,” Henny Admoni, head of the Human and Robot Partners (HARP) Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, told ZDNet. “What I’d like to do is make robots as good at doing that as humans are.”

9. Doctors

Robot Doctor
Source: Pixabay

According to an article published by ScienceDaily, artificial intelligence systems could spell the end for doctors. These systems are potentially more accurate, and definitely faster, than doctors when it comes to diagnosing illnesses and performing surgeries, Jörg Goldhahn, MD, MAS, deputy head of the Institute for Translational Medicine at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, said in the article. Goldhahn also says that robots can be more trustworthy than humans because they are unbiased and don’t have any conflicts of interest. Critics, however, say that robots can’t form relationships with patients, nor can they show us comfort during our most vulnerable times.

8. K-9 Officers

Police Dog
Source: Pixabay

Researchers at Duke University built an artificial robot nose that can sniff out drugs and explosives. The nose is based on odor receptors grown from mice stem cells and is designed to give K-9 officers a much-needed break. While the nose is “not as good as a trained dog, the idea is that by using the actual, living receptors, maybe we can develop a device similar to animals,” lead study author Hiroaki Matsunami, a professor of molecular genetics and microbiology in the Duke School of Medicine, said in an article published by Duke Today.

7. Companions

Source: Pixabay

Pepper, a creation of SoftBank Robotics, is a social humanoid robot optimized for human interaction. He engages with people through conversation and a touch screen, and is the first social humanoid robot able to recognize faces and basic human emotions. According to SoftBank Robotics, Pepper has been adopted by over 2,000 companies around the globe and is used as an assistant to “welcome, inform and guide visitors in an innovative way.”

Some of Pepper’s features include:
-Speech recognition and dialogue in 15 languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, and Dutch
-Perception modules to recognize and interact with the person talking to him
-Touch sensors, LEDs and microphones for multimodal interactions

Pepper, by the way, is available for use at businesses and schools.

6. Strippers

Source: Pixabay

Speaking of companionship, robot strippers were unveiled last year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. According to Business Insider, the Sapphire Las Vegas, a strip club, flew in robot strippers from London in an attempt to encourage women to attend the electronics show. “If you’re six people from a company and there’s two women and four guys, you can still [come] here and have some fun and see the robots and not feel like you have to be part of a strip club,” the club’s managing partner Peter Feinstein told The Daily Beast.

The robot strippers have closed circuit television cameras for heads, a tip jar that asks for battery money, fake cash in a garter, and a sign that reads “M.I.T. Bound.”

5. Winter Olympics Athletes

Source: Pixabay

Well, they’re not Olympic athletes yet, but Kim Dong-uk, the organizer of the world’s first ski tournament for robots, told Business Insider that “in the future robots will have their own Winter Games on the sidelines of the Olympics held by humans.”

The tournament, which took place on a mountain in Pyeongchang, South Korea, was scheduled to coincide with the 2018 Winter Olympics. The tournament included robots of all shapes and sizes from eight robotics teams from universities, institutions, and one private company. The robots were fitted with camera sensors so they could “see” the red and blue flagpoles they had to ski around.

TAEKWAN-V, the winning team, took home the grand prize: $10,000!

4. Sports Fans

Baseball Fans
Source: Pixabay

Speaking of athletes, did you know that South Korea’s Hanwha Eagles baseball team debuted a group of robotic fans back in 2014? Controlled via the internet by people watching the games at home, the purpose of these robots was to fill empty seats and cheer on the team. They could even chant and do the Mexican Wave. Plus, they came with LED screens which the remote fans could use to send in messages. To make it even more personal, the remote fans could also send in a picture of themselves to be displayed on the robot’s face.

3. Bees

Robot Bee
Source: Pixabay

Researchers at Harvard University have developed mechanical bees they hope one day will be able to help with environmental explorations, search-and-rescue missions, crop pollination, and other important tasks. The RoboBees, as they are called, are about half the size of a paper clip, weigh less than one-tenth of a gram, and are capable of flying and swimming using “artificial muscles.” They can also steer, hover, and achieve vertical takeoff. Some models can even perch on surfaces using static electricity. Inspired by flies, RoboBees have two wafer-thin wings that can flap 120 times per second.

2. Novelist

Source: Pixabay

Hitoshi Matsubara, a computer scientist at Future University, created a robot that wrote its own book. And, get this: the book almost won a literary prize! According to Smithsonian magazine, the AI used an algorithm to remix a new novel out of a piece originally written by its designers. The work, titled The Day a Computer Writes a Novel, was one of eleven AI-authored works submitted to the Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award. To win the award, a written work must make it through four rounds of competition. The Day a Computer Writes a Novel only made it through the first round because the judges felt it didn’t quite measure up to the works submitted by human authors.

1. Hotel Staff

Source: Pixabay

Henn na Hotel in Japan is staffed by robot dinosaurs. The dinosaurs at the front desk are equipped with motion sensors, and when they detect someone, they let out a resounding “Welcome.” Then, they proceed to start the check-in process, which includes a tablet system that allows guests to choose which language they want to use to communicate with the robots. Even the fish in the lobby are battery-operated! “It’s becoming difficult to secure enough labor at hotels. To solve that problem, we have robots serving guests,” Yukio Nagai, manager at the Henn na Hotel Maihama Tokyo Bay, said in an article published on Phys.org. But, don’t worry, there are humans on call in case something goes wrong.


Has artificial intelligence ever replaced you on the job? Do you use artificial intelligence to help with your day-to-day tasks? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!