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The Impact of Nanorobots on the Society Report

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Updated: Jun 30th, 2020

Introduction

Nanorobots form a part among the latest innovations that are being researched in the oil industry. According to the definition, they are miniature chips in the measure of nanoscale that are only visible under the microscope, and, thus, present potential components in oil exploration, at least according to Saudi Aramco researchers. Ideally, when the term ‘oil reservoir’ comes to the fore, very few people understand what it means (DiPaola, 2011).

For many people, they envisage a large tank that contains liquid. Nonetheless, in the oil industry, the oil reservoir has the form of a rock that contains minute pores that serve as oil pockets and pathways through which crude oil passes (Helman, 2010). These pathways are known as ‘pore throats’ among the engineering fraternity of this field. As such, a component that is in the measure of nanoscale would appropriately serve the purpose of the research.

The use of reservoir nanorobots, otherwise the resbots in oil exploration, is a technological innovation of Aramco’s EXPEC Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC), a Saudi-based research center. With this the researchers envisage the use of resbots that would be deployed in the oil blocks just like the armies in order to gather important information for the explorers. To this end, water will serve as the media through which they would access the entire pore throats, gathering information such as temperature, pressure, and the type of fluid present. This information will be “stored in their memories, and once the resbots are recovered at the end of their journey, this information would be retrieved, consequently mapping the size and type of the reservoir” (Thompson, 2010).

Once this innovation passes the feasibility test and, hence, is implemented, “the explorers would enjoy real-time communication and powered mobility will also be added” (Thompson, 2010). This is set to impact positively on the modern society where robots are becoming common, decreasing the costs of the final products due to the simplification of the other complicated processes.

In terms of economy, this technology is set to increase the GDP of Saudi Arabia since it is envisaged to reduce the overall cost of exploration significantly. Ideally, the costs due to tear and ware would be significantly reduced since there would be no wasteful drilling of blocks that have insignificant amounts of oil. Importantly, the amount recovered would increase, and this will have a positive impact on the social lives of the Saudis. Their businesses will thrive consequently improving their living standards. On the flip side, there would be the degradation of the environment due to the increase in the carbon footprint.

Nonetheless, the Saudi government explores several strategies to tackle this issue, with the appropriate one being trapping of the emitted carbon to prevent it from entering the atmosphere. Other issues of considerable importance with respect to resbots include the social and ethical aspects, whereby they are seen as unreliable gadgets that can jeopardize operations in cases where the program fails. Resbots, I believe, will revolutionize the oil exploration technology, taking it to the new level that would be cost-effective and efficient. Nonetheless, I believe that, in the long run, the negative effects due to the increased carbon footprint would overshadow the aforementioned benefits if nothing is done about the carbon emissions.

With the above information in mind, the literature that follows will study resbots and their impacts on the society. The details will highlight the economic, environmental and social issues in regard to resbots and how they are dealt with. Moreover, this will also extend to the ethical issues. Furthermore, my opinions in regard to resbots as well as the challenges encountered while sourcing for information will also be outlined. Finally, my recommendations and other competencies that I have demonstrated will also be highlighted.

Impact of resbots on the society

The innovation of resbots is envisaged to revolutionize the oil exploration technology, simplifying the other complex technologies that are synonymous with this industry. As it has been stated by Samer AlAshgar, the manager of EXPEC ARC, that the resbot technology is at the “cutting age of the scientific research” (Russell, 2011). As such, with the adoption of this technology, the overall cost of production would decrease, and the exploration process would be very efficient and fast.

Furthermore, more reservoirs would be discovered, and the degree of oil recovery would be great. Ideally, the main objective of EXPEC ARC project is to increase understanding of how oil and gas are distributed in the region including their quantities and nature (Citino, 2010). This will give a picture of the most economical method to be used for exploitation. This will reduce costs, improving the economy of Saudi Arabia, which will eventually improve the living standards of the locals. Moreover, the locals would benefit from the increased infrastructural development resulting from the increased exploration activities. Resbots can also explore remotely located areas that are risky to humans; therefore, with their introduction in the oil industry, such risks would be averted.

Economic, environmental and social issues and how they are dealt with

Technological advancement in any field is meant to simplify the current process, improving its efficiency and output. As such, it is accepted positively by the stakeholders since it is meant to increase the profit margin a business. On the flip side, the innovations are viewed differently by both the employees and the environmentalists. To them, they are concerned about their employment status in the company and the impact the technology has on the environment.

As regards employment, with the adoption of resbots the companies will go for more skilled employees. Nonetheless, this does not mean that there would be unemployment since there will be more fields to work on as more skilled people would be employed. Concerning the environment, the main issue here is the carbon footprint in the Saudi atmosphere. With the increased production, there would be an increase in the carbon emission in the air. This is the major cause of global warming that is the reason for extreme weather conditions that are witnessed today. The best way to mitigate this effect is by embracing ‘green’ sources of energy like wind (Wieland, 2012). However, in Saudi, oil export forms the backbone of its economy, and, therefore, embracing ‘green’ sources would be of little help to its economy. To this end, trapping the carbon before it is released to the environment and converting it to less harmful components on the ground would help reduce carbon emissions.

As regards operations of Saudi Aramco, the land issue is among the major problems it grapples with. This company controls a vast area of reservation land totaling to approximately 85,000 square metres that also includes a network of pipeline that totals to about 5000 kilometres in length. Controlling this huge area is a big challenge to the company; however, this problem is a thing of the past since when the land monitoring systems (state-of-the-art satellites) were introduced by land management department. The satellite systems transmit real-time data to the central point where it is stored.

The ethical issues and how they are dealt with

Recently, the debate on the impact of nanorobots on the social aspect of humans has been on the rise. Ideally, the science fiction of the past century is now becoming a reality, and no one would deny that robots would be a part of humans in future. In fact, the aforementioned era is happening now, where the use of nanorobots to accomplish tasks is common. One of such robots is the resbots, a product of EXPEC ARC that would be used as a nanoreporter in oil fields once a research on it is accomplished. Once it is adopted, many advantages will be realized including real-time communication of information from the oilfields and the accurate mapping of the reservoir will be established. However, even with these advantages there are some other ethical issues that come with this technology.

The moral and “ethical implications of resbots and other nanorobots are obvious” (Warf, 2010). Among the common arguments in the public domain is that they are viewed as competitors for the already limited job slots present. Many people argue that there is no need to create artificial laborers (robots), yet there are many people who are jobless already. Moreover, some people argue that there is no need for artificial intelligence since human beings already present enough problems in this world and that the addition of robots will only aggravate the problems. Others believe that this trend is against the will of God, where scientists are trying to build super humans and trying to rival God.

My opinions

Human beings are faced with a myriad of challenges in many fields that include medicine, engineering, and agriculture among others. As such, scientists grapple with these issues in an effort to find answers. As such, I believe, the presence of scientists in this world is a blessing to us. They have simplified the complex process, consequently making work easier. They have found answers to many questions that have been eluding humanity, and they are still researching on issues that still trouble the world. One of such innovations that is yet to be adopted by man in the oil industry is the resbots, a nanorobot that is capable of mapping the distribution of the oil reservoirs in the oil blocks. I believe, the resbots would revolutionize the oil exploration technology, taking it to a new level where more advantages would be realized.

Therefore, it is important to embrace this technology in order to realize the benefits. Even as the benefits due to the innovation of resbots are anticipated, the other accompanying issues (for instance, social, ethical and environmental issues) could overshadow these benefits. To this end, I believe, addressing such issues would render the project successful once it is implemented.

Challenges faced in producing of the information and recommendations

Resbot is a novel technology in the oil exploration industry that is in its penultimate stages of research. As such, little literature has been documented about it. This served as the major challenge in producing this paper. Ideally, much of the information that is found in the internet is general information about nanorobots and robots. Much of the information found in the internet dwells much on how the technology functions. Such issues related to the social and ethical aspects are not discussed elaborately in the internet. However, I managed to gather enough information for this report.

My recommendations regarding resbots are that in order to develop an elaborate report on this subject, there is a need to give more time for more information to be uploaded in the internet once the research is over, and the innovation has been adopted. Otherwise, the information presented about the social and ethical aspects is a mere speculation. It is also important that more finances are pumped into the projects of EXPEC ARC since there is a huge potential in this field.

Other competencies that I have demonstrated

In this paper, I have demonstrated several competencies with respect to the research work. I have demonstrated my abilities to perform research work on areas where the available information on the subject is limited. To this end, I was able to produce information on both social and ethical issues regarding resbots. Ideally, the information available on the worldwide website was about the general information on robots. As such, I was able to obtain the appropriate data from it to come up with the report. I have also demonstrated my competencies in understanding the subject on resbots since I was able to give my opinions on the whole subject. Eventually, I was able to give my recommendations on it, whereby I recommended that the Saudi government should finance its EXPEC ARC center for its scientists to advance in their innovative works.

Conclusion

In a conclusion, the thesis outlined in this report was achieved since we were able to demonstrate the impact of resbots on the society, whereby it was outlined that it would improve the GDP of Saudi Arabia, improving the standard of living of its citizens. Also, other accompanying issues like environmental, economic, social and ethical issues were outlined. In a summary, it was established that there would be an increase in the carbon footprint.

The ethical issues regarding the resbots were that it would cause unemployment and more problems to humans. These issues led to my recommendations about the resbots, whereby I suggested that in order to develop an elaborate and accurate report on this subject, there would be a need to give more time for sufficient information to be uploaded once the research was over, and the innovation had been adopted. I also recommend that Saudi Aramco’s EXPEC ARC center proceeds with their innovation for it to simplify the oil exploration technology.

References

Citino, N. (2010). The making of US-Saudi relations. Export market, 3 (9), 3-5. Web.

DiPaola, A. (2011). “Saudi Aramco Starts Production From Karan Gas Field in July. Journal on petrol and gas production, 12 (3), 4-6. Web.

Helman, C. (2010). “The World’s Biggest Oil Companies.” Forbes, 45 (6), 9-10. Web.

Russell, C (2011). “TOP Oil Market News: Saudi Aramco Raises Prices; Libya Turmoil.” Journal on petrol and gas production, 78 (3), 14-16. Web.

Thompson, E. (2010). Petroleum Achives Project Arabian Peninsula & Gulf Studies Program. London: Idea Group Publishing. Web.

Warf, P. (2010). Ethical and moral issues regarding AI. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Web.

Wieland, R. (2012). Carbon footprint and how to reduce it in Saudi Arabia. Environment Journal, 7 (3), 20. Web.

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