The iCub is the humanoid robot developed at IIT as part of the EU project RobotCub and subsequently adopted by more than 20 laboratories worldwide. It has 53 motors that move the head, arms, hands, waist, and legs, using accelerometers and gyroscopes. It can see and hear; and it has the sense of proprioception (body configuration). The main goal is to study cognition through the implementation of a humanoid robot the size of a three-year-old child. (Source: icub.org)
I don't think using Mexican workers as an example is a problem because they are everywhere, so we all can relate to them. No p.c. Is necessary. I'm just acknowledging a truism. I'm a Mormon and have sent sons down there to teach them, as they are brothers and sisters to me. And I've hired them. But I know what you mean.
I agree, human workers for simpler jobs are easy to work with. Not to mention, they are much cheaper. The Foxconn factory, for example, employs around 1 million workers (according to Ruth Alexander of the BBC). They make about $400 dollars a month. That is a low rental price for a multi-function, autonomous, intelligent robot, of sorts. On a common day, there are thousands of people waiting in lines for those jobs. When there are people willing to be abused by employers, robots will never be used. (for the record, Foxconn's revenue is around $117 billion. Workers are in comparison, free.)
Robots need skilled and knowledgeable maintenance. I doubt we will see them take over simple jobs.
Where precision and speed are needed, robots will be the only choice.
pc. (You might want to be a little more P.C. in your public comments. Just a thought.)
This is America. Why would we want robots when there are so many Mexicans around willing to do robot work?
Maybe robots are a ploy to stop illegal immigration by making them cheaper than day-laborers? Actually, I would rather hire a human I can talk to, in any language, than to have to learn a new programming language to train a robot to do multiple tasks that humans do so easily.
Is a robot from Japan considered an alien for immigration purposes? Does it need a green card? Does it have to go back to Japan once every six months to renew its work permit? Do I have to pay it minimum wage and deduct for taxes? Can I pay it under the table.
Maybe I should just get my kids to do it for free...
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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