HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
<<  <  Page 2/4  >  >>
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A challenge to China labor
Ann R. Thryft   4/5/2013 12:05:07 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob, I think you're right about those two apps. Meanwhile, though, people in machine vision and other industries have told me, off record, they wish they had robots, not humans, working in their factories.



Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A challenge to China labor
Ann R. Thryft   4/5/2013 12:04:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Companies rarely invest in more workers when they make more profits--that would generally be seen as anti-productive, since the productivity metric is usually how many dollars are brought in per worker. Unless, of course, they've decided to expand operations that need more workers. And obviously this all depends on what kind of jobs and workers we mean. But many, many companies don't want more or any human workers: they want robot workers, automated hardware, and increasingly sophisticated software. Which makes me wonder how many engineering jobs have been lost to design software--anyone know?

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A challenge to China labor
Rob Spiegel   4/5/2013 10:27:35 AM
NO RATINGS
Hey GTOlover,

If the robots are to coninue their expansion, it will be at the cost of blue collar jobs. That's the ROI. The addition of smart jobs must be small in comparison to the elimination of worker jobs or the robots will not offer value. Look out China.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A challenge to China labor
Rob Spiegel   4/5/2013 10:23:23 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, Ann, and it will be interesting to see the future of robots. Apparently they are paying for themselves, since implementations dont get very far in factory automation without a clear ROI. It will be interesting to see who implements the new wave of robots. I'll put my money on the suppliers in auto and aerospace.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A challenge to China labor
Cabe Atwell   4/5/2013 2:19:13 AM
NO RATINGS
As fantastic as this is, I would like to see this tech integrated into robotic toys. True "transformers," a childhood dream is almost fulfilled.

C

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A challenge to China labor
Ann R. Thryft   4/4/2013 8:07:03 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, GTOlover. That's the point I was trying to make: what happens when low-skilled jobs are replaced by higher-skilled jobs? This sounds great--until you wonder what happens to the displaced workers. Once upon a time, there were a lot more low-skilled workers than high-skilled ones. I'd like to know what the proportions are today, in the US and elsewhere. The raw numbers in China must be huge.

GTOlover
User Rank
Platinum
Re: A challenge to China labor
GTOlover   4/4/2013 12:09:38 PM
NO RATINGS
I would add that the company is not a closed economic system. Those new jobs are usually a higher skill set than the workers displaced by the robots (maintenance, engineering, and programmers). Some companies 'invest' in re-training, others hire replacements that either paid for their own skills upgrade or got the taxpayer to pick up the tab. The point being, job growth of a company upgrading productivity by automation does displace lower skilled labor but enhances job growth for higher skilled workers.

So in a sense, Ann is correct that blue collar workforce is endangered by robots. If China loses work to robots, what will the billions of workers do?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Self-Assembled Devices
Ann R. Thryft   4/4/2013 12:04:40 PM
NO RATINGS
Al, I think you're right about the consumer apps, at least in the  beginning. But these technologies will be capable of making--and re-making!--a lot of other stuff. I know it's hard to imagine--I felt like my brain went through a painful re-orientation during the reporting of this article--but I really think it's possible, even likely.



Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A challenge to China labor
Ann R. Thryft   4/4/2013 12:04:01 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob, I think those are good, and accurate, observations about the differences between automation in the past and robots now. Robots are, in one sense, Factory Automation 2.0. The industry has already gone through all the 101/1.0 pain--poor implementation and poorly designed apps, since it was all new--and learned a lot of lessons. Plus. there are many, many companies who would like to replace human workers with robots.



Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A challenge to China labor
Rob Spiegel   4/3/2013 5:33:37 PM
NO RATINGS
Hey, Dave,

 

Good points. However, the additional profits may not go to more jobs. It may go to more robots.

<<  <  Page 2/4  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
ABI Research, a firm based in the UK that specializes in analyzing global connectivity and other emerging technologies, estimates there will be 40.9 billion active wirelessly interconnected “things” by 2020. The driving force is the usual suspect: the Internet of Things.
Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/31/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
5/7/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 20 - 24, Taking the Internet of Things to the Cloud
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service