Robots Already Build Cars, But They May Build Car Factories Soon, Too
We’ll always need humans to manufacture robots for automated manufacturing, or at least that’s been the prevailing wisdomÂ for years.
But what if that wasn’t the case?
Robot arms, such as the Franka Emika pictured above, might change all that, as they now have the ability to clone themselves.
Mind you, we’re far from entering a world where robots enslave humans (I hope), but a self-replicating robot brings with itÂ many risks and rewards.
On the reward side, if you teach a robot to do something (properly or improperly), it will repeat that same procedure (properly or improperly) until such time as there’s a fault. Unlike humans, robots don’t have variable attention spans, get tired, and never call in sick afterÂ aÂ Sunday night bender.
Those rewards are great if you design, manufacture, build, and deploy industrial robots,Â but now there’s a very good chance robotsÂ could be assembled and deployed byÂ themselves.Â That doesn’t just put assembly line jobs at risk, but also muchÂ higher paying jobs that usually requireÂ greaterÂ education and knowledge.
If there’s one silver lining in this dystopian cloud, it’s that the Emika is built to work alongside humans, reports Quartz, unlike many industrial robot arms that work in cages to keep us meatbags away. Using sensors monitoring torque in each of its seven joints, the Emika will stopÂ its task as soon as it “feels” resistance.
Franka Emika’s creator, Sami Haddadin, famously let a robot with similar functionality attempt to stab him with a knife in 2010, according to IEEE Spectrum at the time. The blade didn’tÂ break the skin.
The Emika is far from being the same sizeÂ asÂ robots used on vehicle assembly lines, butÂ scaling up such a design is just a matter of time. Add to that two things: one of Franka’s main backers is Kuka, a major supplier of the automotive industry, and â€” last time I checked â€” robots don’t need a green card to get a job.
via The Truth About Cars http://ift.tt/Jh8LjA
February 11, 2017 at 04:24AM