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Friday, October 31, 2008

Robots will take over many jobbs

At Scenarioland John Heylin reports a speech of Marshall Brain, founder of How Stuff Works who thinks robots can easily eliminate half the workforce of the United States fairly soon. In 20 years or so robots will have computing power enough to take over jobs in factories, construction, transportation and retail. Walmart alone has over 1.2 million employees, performing easy jobs. If robots take the jobs, a million jobs at Walmart will be gone. 6.5 million construction workers, 16.4 million factory workers, 3 million drivers are in the risk zone. In total about 50 million jobs in the U.S. alone may be taken over by robots. Brain recommends to modifying our economy to deal with the mass unemployed.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Household robot demo in Tokyo

Toyota Motor Corp and Tokyo University’s Information and Robot Technology Research Initiative , IRT, have jointly developed a prototype of a household robot that can clean up rooms, smoothly put away dishes from a dining table and pick up shirts and put them in a washing machine. According to a press release the 155-cm, 130-kg humanoid robot excels in the capacity to distinguish and perceive objects such as furniture and cleaning equipment. The robot is equipped with two arms, five recognition cameras and laser sensors. It gets around on wheels.
The robot also analyzes past failures and corrects its behavior patterns.

Toyota and Tokyo University’s IRT said the robot has been designed to help cope with the predicted labor shortage stemming from Japan’s aging society and low birthrate. The developers said they will keep improving the robot and hope to start marketing it in around year 2015.

See Reuters Video.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

World's tiniest, thumb-sized walking robot

Japanese toy manufacturer Tomy unveils world's tiniest, thumb-sized walking robot
The two-legged toy, dubbed ‘‘Robo-Q,’’ is only 3.4 centimeters high, but its artificial intelligence can detect obstacles and navigate through a maze using built in infrared sensors. Using a controller, it can also play games like soccer.

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