TV News LIES

Thursday, Oct 23rd

Last update05:39:55 AM GMT

You are here News Economy How robots are eating the last of America’s—and the world’s—traditional manufacturing jobs

How robots are eating the last of America’s—and the world’s—traditional manufacturing jobs

E-mail Print PDF

Baxter, the robotBaxter, the affordable, humanoid industrial robot recently unveiled by Rethink Robotics, is so easy to program that I once did it one-handed and drunk. We were at a party at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and he was standing in the corner, looking lonely. No, really—Baxter has expressive eyes projected on a touchscreen where you’d expect it to have a face, virtually guaranteeing that you’ll anthropomorphize it.

Drink in hand, I walked over and, with only the vaguest sense of how to get it to respond to my touch, grabbed it by the wrist. I guided its “hand” over to a box full of small objects. Its caliper-like fingers closed on a widget. Then I moved its hand, which offered almost no resistance at all, to another position on the table. It dropped the object.

After that, it dutifully repeated the procedure I had taught it, again and again, emptying the box. In a display of the sort of capabilities that used to be almost impossible in robotics but are now routine, its machine vision allowed it to cope with the differences in position and shape of each of the widgets. Baxter was untroubled by the poor lighting, loud music or my clumsiness.

In less time than it takes to update my calendar, I had, in essence, trained Baxter to pack a box for shipping, or to transfer goods from one conveyor belt to another—two tasks that are common in manufacturing and distribution centers.

More...


Most Recent Related Stories...


Yellen says US experiencing widening inequality

Janet YellenFederal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that the last several decades have seen the most...

German downturn casts shadow over world economy

German economy turns downwardAs if the global economy didn't have enough troubles, it looks like Germany, Europe's traditional growth...

Banks accept derivatives rule change to end 'too big to fail' scenario

London financial districtThe $700 trillion financial derivatives industry has agreed to a fundamental rule change from January to...

Hewlett-Packard to split into two public companies, lay off 5,000

hewlett packardHewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) said it would split into two listed companies, separating its computer and printer...
 
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
TVNL Tee Shirt
 
TVNL TOTE BAG
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
 
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
 
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!