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Engineering Materials
Self-Assembled Devices May Transform Manufacturing
4/3/2013

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The SuperBot is a set of robotic modules that form and reform linear or solid shapes, such as this walking humanoid form. Developed for possible use by NASA in planetary exploration, SuperBot can walk, crawl, climb, and carry things depending on its form.
The SuperBot is a set of robotic modules that form and reform linear or solid shapes, such as this walking humanoid form. Developed for possible use by NASA in planetary exploration, SuperBot can walk, crawl, climb, and carry things depending on its form.

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Ann R. Thryft
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The future is going to be very different
Ann R. Thryft   4/3/2013 1:29:24 PM
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Because all of this work is still in R&D it might be easy to dismiss it as blue-sky. But I discovered while doing the background research for this article that many of these projects have been underway for several years, and much of what's being done now is second- or even third-generation R&D. There's an awful lot of brains and money aimed at developing self-assembling. self-reconfiguring robots. I came away with the feeling that the future is going to be very different, indeed.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: A challenge to China labor
Ann R. Thryft   4/3/2013 1:06:39 PM
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Thanks, Rob. Yes, it's already starting to look like robots are replacing cheap labor again, even in China. It's been reported that Foxconn plans to "solve" it's widely publicized labor problems by replacing humans with millions of robots: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/foxconn-to-replace-human-workers-with-one-million-robots

Rob Spiegel
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A challenge to China labor
Rob Spiegel   4/3/2013 9:42:42 AM
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Good story Ann,

 

When it comes to assembly and manufacturing, robots may replace labor from China. How ironic if robots become an alternative to cheap labor.

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