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Robotic Revolution

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Barbara Jorgensen
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Robotic revolution
Barbara Jorgensen   12/12/2012 2:37:06 PM
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I keep hearing this old song in my head..."In the year 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, we may find...everything that you think, say or do, some machine is doing for you..."

We are already too close to that. As a home office worker, I used to make a point of going out to a bookstore for a novel; the local store closed and now that 5-minute trip is 30 minutes. So I'm getting an e-reader. I also made a point of Christmas shopping at retail stores, and the selection is awful. Amazon.com used to be my default option but is quickly becoming my first choice.

 I don't have to run up or down stairs to answer the phone any more or get up to change channels. (You can't manually change channels if you want to!) So what do we do for exercise? A machine (treadmill, stairmaster...) You can even program a treadmill to move without you on it. Is it just me, or are things getting a little creepy?

Adeniji Kayode
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Production Synthesizer
Re: Robotic revolution
Adeniji Kayode   12/12/2012 4:05:41 PM
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It seems to look like many foxconn employees will soon be out of job by the end of the year.

Clairvoyant
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Re: Robotic revolution
Clairvoyant   12/13/2012 2:08:54 PM
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I actually didn't hear about the "FoxBots" until I read this article. This is some amazing technology! However, it is very concerning how many people will loose jobs because of this. Does anyone know who the manufacturer of these robots is? Or is Foxconn building them for themselves?

Adeniji Kayode
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Production Synthesizer
Solving a problem to create another
Adeniji Kayode   12/13/2012 4:39:26 PM
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This might be a ggod move for Forconn but then it may not have to worry about issues that surround human workers such as strict polies, extremely long hours and unfair pay yet, if this is not properly handled will lead to so many people joblessness.

But then the robots would still need human to oil them when they malfunction.

nimantha.d
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Re: Solving a problem to create another
nimantha.d   12/14/2012 5:53:47 AM
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Robotic activities are becoming very common these days with the technology moving fast. I think humans will have less work in the future since programatic memory will work fast and adapt faster than the human memory.

Adeniji Kayode
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Production Synthesizer
Re: Solving a problem to create another
Adeniji Kayode   12/14/2012 1:04:03 PM
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The introduction of robots might lead to joblessness but things would normalise with time.

This might cause people to start taking courses in robot maintenance and programming.

This also means that some career discipline will no longer be neccessary or available in universities.

nimantha.d
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Re: Solving a problem to create another
nimantha.d   1/26/2013 10:31:51 PM
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Yes Adeniji it will create some paths too but not all cab be experts on those fields whre most of the jobs will be covered by robots. So dont you think its a bit risky the job market will be in the future ?

FLYINGSCOT
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good move
FLYINGSCOT   12/14/2012 7:32:56 AM
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I am all for increased automation as it means humans will move further up the knowledge chain as we are still needed to design and maintain the robots.  Since overall productivity should still go up it will make for an easier life for all us humans ;-)

Adeniji Kayode
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Production Synthesizer
Re: good move
Adeniji Kayode   12/14/2012 1:08:21 PM
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FLYINGSCOT.

I agree with you on that but do you foresee us having robocops one day?

SP
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Robotic Revolution
SP   12/14/2012 10:19:10 AM
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With Foxconn always in the news associated with employee suicide cases, I guess its wise for them to deploy few robots who will not complain about living conditions. The robots just have to be charged and programmed. May be the they will also need supervisory robotos. Wonder how much ewaste would be generated by Foxconn alone.

Adeniji Kayode
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Production Synthesizer
Re: Robotic Revolution
Adeniji Kayode   12/14/2012 1:15:58 PM
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SP

well, humans will have to do the supervision which means that humans will still be needed but in small numbers and probably with a more special discipline.

prabhakar_deosthali
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Re:
prabhakar_deosthali   12/14/2012 10:40:22 AM
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About 25 years back I had a chance to visit a car manufacturing plant near Paris. On the assembly line of that plant there were about 35 robots operating on the whole of the assembly line of that car plant which rolled out a new car every 2 minutes. I could see the human workers only towards the end of the assembly line doing the final electrical fittings and doing the test rides of the finished vehicles.

So there is no wonder if such scenario now appears on electronic manufacturing lines and if the economics works out well then why not.

But  I am just wondering  that the basic incentives for moving such assembly lines to countries like China was that their manual labor was very cheap and the workers were very fast at doing the repeated assembly jobs.

A robotic factory could as well in any other country as the robot will cost the same.

So may be the western world has a chance here to bring back all that manufacturing on shore again

But not necessarily the jobs!

 

 

Adeniji Kayode
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Production Synthesizer
Re:
Adeniji Kayode   12/14/2012 1:20:40 PM
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You mean to say that Man and machine will have to coexist to solve our daily problem

Mr. Roques
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Re:
Mr. Roques   12/14/2012 1:38:39 PM
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I would like to see those FoxBots (reminded me of Austin Power's femme bots) working. 

Is FOXCOM on 24 hr shifts? If robots work 24/7/365, the breakeven point is even closer. 

Can those FoxBots do any job?

SP
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SP   12/14/2012 8:06:43 PM
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Mr. Roques, Good point. Robots will do the work as they are programmed. Their would be a microcontroller chip inside each robot preprogrammed to do the functions. Ofcourse they wont get tired and many not need to take a break for natural reasons. And if they get into a situation that is not in their program, depending on what is written in the program they will behave. May be raise an alarm.

Adeniji Kayode
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Production Synthesizer
Re:
Adeniji Kayode   12/14/2012 8:25:02 PM
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SP,

They won't get tired but definately need servicing and maintenance.

Mr. Roques
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Re:
Mr. Roques   1/10/2013 4:48:04 PM
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I guess everything can be programmed into a microcrontroller, somethings are simply harder to do.

Are there still some jobs that computers can't do? (when thinking of a supply chain)

Douglas Alexander
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Re:
Douglas Alexander   12/14/2012 8:47:19 PM
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@Prabhakar...True...not necessarily jobs. This seems like another way for the rich to get richer while the goods are purchased by the masses that will be able to take advantage of automation based pricing. Seems like a good move to identify the mass robot makers and invest so you can be one of those rich guys.

DWeil
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Stock Keeper
Wrong numbers?
DWeil   12/15/2012 3:34:37 AM
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According to http://www.everything-robotic.com/2012/10/foxbots-being-deployed-in-china.html they are employing 1.2 million workers at Foxconn, and they want to install 1 million robots until 2014.

If the Foxconn management were out to replace their workforce with robots, going by those numbers they would be very, very inefficient at it.

They would have to be even more inefficient, if they retrained a big part of those 1.2 million workers to do the service and maintenance for 1 million robots.

The same goes for building robots that need a significant amount of service and maintenance in the first place.

Apparently they wanted to have 300,000 robots installed by the end of 2012 and are hard pushed to achieve 10 % of that. So maybe they are indeed inefficient? Or are all those figures only attempts at building political pressure to achieve other ends?

Douglas Alexander
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Re: Wrong numbers?
Douglas Alexander   12/15/2012 11:46:23 AM
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@DWell...if one company does achieve a number like 1 million as they are targeted to do so, then they become either the golden boy of robotic innovation or the laughing stock if they lose efficiencies. As you say, this is a political move as well as a industrial effort. All eyes will be on the resultant numbers. If this works to a significant degree, then the manufacturing world will stand up and take notice. We might see big box stores dedicated to robotic products with fancy smancy show rooms. With working assembly lines producing real products. When I was a kid, we were taken on a field trip to Delta car battery factory where at the end of the tour, we each got a battery cap that we watched a plastic injection machine make right before our very eyes. What a thrill that was! Obviously it left a mark on my impressionable little mind.

Nemos
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Robot Era
Nemos   12/15/2012 4:41:40 PM
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Today we can talk about it ,it is very clear now that the Robo era is coming, I am convinced that in the next 20 years (maybe sooner) will not exist human worker, and the states must plan an easy transition (training) from the industrial era to the Robo era to be as smoothly as it can be otherwise will have huge lines with unemployment people. That applies to all countries as our world is interconnected.   

 

TaimoorZ
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Re: Robot Era
TaimoorZ   12/15/2012 8:09:43 PM
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" I am convinced that in the next 20 years (maybe sooner) will not exist human worker"

@Nemos: I'm not sure if I'd agree with this. There are several industrial jobs where the robots can be substituted but the cost of using robots is really high so it's not worth replacing humans with them. Human workers will continue to perform these.

Douglas Alexander
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Re: Robot Era
Douglas Alexander   12/15/2012 9:44:34 PM

@all...I highly recommend the video "Plug and Pray." It shows the latest research with robots, vision systems, and AI. When you hear the powers behind the demand, you can get an idea where they want this technology to go. It can be pretty freaky at the extremes. Watch the video and draw your own conclusions.

TaimoorZ
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Robot Era
TaimoorZ   12/18/2012 6:13:38 AM
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@Doughlas: I saw the trailer for this movie and it seems like a good movie to watch.

You have hinted on an important topic - robot movies. Some of the most famous movies of all times have been based on robots but normally the movies have been far from reality and have focused on the cool aspect of robots. Movies like Real Steel and Wall-E are fun to watch but they present a view of robots to people far away from being true.

Nemos
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Re: Robot Era
Nemos   12/16/2012 12:08:00 AM
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"but the cost of using robots is really high so it's not worth replacing humans with them. Human workers will continue to perform these"

Yes you are correct, but you are speaking about the future with today's terms,today the cost is high, Just remember my note .....

 

SP
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Re: Robot Era
SP   12/16/2012 11:49:17 AM
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but Robots will not complain if they are made to work long hours. They are preprogrammed and can do the same work with same quality and precision for any number of times. I guess in manufacturing robots are best fits.

Nemos
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Re: Robot Era
Nemos   12/16/2012 12:05:57 PM
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Exactly, that why robo workers will make their presence increasingly often in the factories , that's why the governments must have a clear plan about the employment matter we will face in the future. 

 

SP
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Re: Robot Era
SP   12/16/2012 12:17:11 PM
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In countries with huge population, the robots will never find their place so easily as the cost of getting and replacing humans would be much easier. But in Western countries where population is less and minimum wages are high, its difficult to get human labor, robots will have a upper hand in employment and governments do have to have a clear employment plan.

TaimoorZ
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Re: Robot Era
TaimoorZ   12/18/2012 6:17:44 AM
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@Nemos: That's correct. But the cost has to go down significantly before robots become viable and affordable to replace human beings.

Nemos
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Re: Robot Era
Nemos   12/18/2012 9:15:49 AM
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"before robots become viable and affordable to replace human beings."

Foxconn is doing it at the moment we are speaking ,10.000 robots will replace 10.000 workers ..... 

 

TaimoorZ
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Supply Network Guru
One-time investment
TaimoorZ   12/15/2012 8:01:00 PM
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"Each robot costs between $20,000 and $25,000, which is over three times the average salary of one worker."

@Doughlas: Interesting post. I think the cost for the robot is a one time investment and the annual maintenance cost should not be so high. So the amount spent on a robot may be initially large but in the long run they'll become cheaper than human beings. Also, since the productivity of robots is high, the cost per unit of output may be lesser.

FLYINGSCOT
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Supply Network Guru
get real
FLYINGSCOT   12/16/2012 1:52:54 PM
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Remember robots can only do a small portion of the tasks that humans can do and are very expensive to purchase and maintain.  Therefore I believe humans will be employed for some time to come.

Ariella
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Supply Network Guru
Re: get real
Ariella   12/17/2012 8:51:31 AM
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@flyingscot Yes, for many businesses, it is not worth the investment in robot technology, but you may be surprised at the inroads robots have made. One of the ways in which they are used is quality assurance of human comfor. Ford, for example, uses a robotic arm called RUTH to help engineers get precise feedback about car interior design.  

Adeniji Kayode
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Production Synthesizer
Re: get real
Adeniji Kayode   12/18/2012 12:41:20 AM
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Robots will cut through most of the production lines but not all the professions



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