A fact buried deep in Bosch Rexroth Corp. CEO Berend Bracht’s presentation about the worldwide outlook for 2008 blew me away. Canada has lost 400,000 manufacturing jobs during the past five years. Think about it: At barely over 33 million, Canada’s population is about one tenth that of the U.S. Proportionately those jobs have a much bigger than what’s happening in a much more dynamic U.S. economy. That said, when you you lose your job, you don’t much care where you are.
Indeed, a report just out from Toronto-Dominion Bank says "tens of thousands" in manufacturing are being lost to stiff competition and the U.S. recession. The report says 130,000 Canadian manufacturing jobs disappeared in 2007 alone. Especially hard hit are the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
Two things strike me: why is this dire situation largely ignored by the U.S media? And next time you’re slamming NAFTA, think about our brethren north of the border. They’re hurting, too.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.