I think robots are already affecting the view of labor by management. I've always thought the reduction in wages, health care and pensions subsidized the investment in robots in the auto industry. The joke goes that GM is a health care company that happens to also make cars. Deploying robots is one small move to reverse decades of growing labors costs.
I think many of us who have worked with robots in industry can attest that robots do have a sense of humor, it's just that what they find funny is not always funny to us. For example, many robots seem to think that creating large quantities of scrap is totally hilarious.
The idea of the "Uncanny Valley" is fascinating to me - just like the people out there who fear clowns. It's a fun, interesting idea, but it's hard to wrap my head around how someone can be afraid of a robot, unless it's telling jokes and imitating people. I think I'd be more thrown off by a robot if it were making fun of me ....
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
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