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Posts Tagged ‘Manufacturing’

Stronger, Faster, Cheaper: Robots Are Replacing China’s Work Force (Video)

Very interesting. Over here in The States, folks dread the coming of robotic innovations that could cost them their jobs for the sake of manufacturing efficiency and cost effectiveness. But in China, where they have a lot of people, there is a shortage of “blue collar” workers. In other words, Chinese manufacturers claim that they don’t have enough workers around to complain. Their money-saving initiative involving robots would not be to replace workers; rather to avoid having to pay high wages to woo laborers or move to where the workers live. I wonder how this plays out for the average Chinese worker in a communist society as compared to here in a capitalist society like here the U.S. It seems like the companies in China could be fazing out the average worker, but are these corporations sharing in the workers’ ability to find work, sharing in the profits, or assisting them in pursuing their dreams elsewhere.

Check it.


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Technology: Baxter – The Robot That Will Change Manufacturing (Video)

Above is a demonstration video for a new kind of factory robot, Baxter, built by Rodney Brooks and his company Rethink Robotics. Industrial robots, to date, have been very limited in function and very expensive. Enter Baxter, a low-cost robot programmed to work in flexible ways that mimic human laborers… all the way down to facial expressions. But Brooks insists that Baxter will not replace human workers; only the clunky machines they currently work with. Melissa Kennedy of Atlanta Career Path posts:

Because they require a huge investment and aren’t able to deal with even slight changes in work flow, [current] manufacturing robots aren’t a good choice for completing repetitive tasks. They present significant safety hazards and are required to be separated from the human workforce by cages or safety glass. Because of this, robotics hasn’t been a viable option for most small manufacturers or warehouses… Now, that is all changing… Baxter, a new robot with common sense… is a low-cost robot that has the potential to change the face of manufacturing.

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