By Tomas Kellner – Until now. GE is taking a second look at nimble robots that can operate in tough spots. Last year, GE Ventures invested in Sarcos Robotics, an innovative company developing robots for tasks that are too difficult or dangerous for humans.
“We are really focused on the part of robotics that is about human augmentation, as opposed to human replacement,” says Sarcos Co-founder and President Fraser Smith.
These are no assembly line robots, either. Ben Wolff, Sarcos chairman and CEO, says his engineers are building dexterous robots that can do meaningful work in unpredictable or unstructured environments. Echoing Mosher’s vision, the machines can navigate new surroundings and have “very fine motor controls that allow them to manipulate objects in exactly the same way you would with your arms if you could lift so much,” Wolff says.
One such machine, the remotely operated Sarcos Guardian S snake robot, can crawl inside and inspect steam pipes within a nuclear power plant or oil storage tank. “Rather than sending a human rappelling down an 80-foot wall to look for corrosion inside a petroleum storage tank, we can send the robot,” Wolff says. more> https://goo.gl/9pYRJh
Posted in Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Product, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, GE, Industrial economy, robots, Technology
Child’s Play: Machines Learning Like Kids Will Usher In The Next Industrial Revolution
By Mike Keller – No matter what you believe on this subject, there’s no doubt that smart machines are firmly planted in the global zeitgeist these days.
“You’ve got people painting a very dark picture of robotics,” says John Lizzi, who heads GE’s research lab on distributed intelligent systems.
“The concept of AI taking over is interesting, but getting anywhere near that type of capability is very far away. And while the rest of the world is dreaming up these science-fiction futures, we’re taking the technology and solving real problems today.”
Since the first robots started working on factory floors 55 years ago, a significant number of smart machines have come on the market and are now under development. In recent years, several have grabbed attention for how they promise to improve work and home life. These include Google’s self-driving cars as well as humble domestic helpers like iRobot’s Roomba.
Then, of course, there are the millions of robotic arms and other industrial machines deployed in automotive manufacturing, healthcare and other industries. They have proven themselves thoroughly in factories and their expanding skills mean that the ranks of bots toiling among us is certain to grow.
According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), 1.5 million industrial robots were operating at the end of 2014, and an estimated 12 percent yearly increase in that number means 2.3 million will be operating by the end of 2018. more> http://goo.gl/JuPb20
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Net, Product, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, GE, Industrial economy, Internet, Jobs, Manufacturing, robots
Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, Author: Martin Ford.
Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future, Author: Martin Ford.
By Martin Ford – People are intelligent. People can adapt to new roles. From an economic standpoint, perhaps the single most important difference between horses and humans is that people can learn to do new things.
The risk workers face today is that we have passed a technological turning point, and as a result, a new kind of creative destruction will unfold.
Smart, learning algorithms will power robots, self-service systems, and increasingly capable mobile devices, and this will inevitably drive labor intensive industries like retail, fast food, and hospitality toward employing ever-fewer workers. At the same time the new industries that we hope will create replacement jobs will rely on artificial intelligence and robotics right from their inception. more> http://tinyurl.com/pkdpb9a
Posted in Book review, Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Leadership, Media, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Capital, Internet, Jobs, Leadership, Organization, robots
By Matthew Yglesias – It’s almost anti-discussed due to the obsession in media and political circles with the alleged rise of the robots. We’re so busy worrying about how to counteract an imaginary, robot-driven productivity surge that we’re barely paying attention to the real story of the productivity slowdown.
What about the bounty of digital technology that is in evidence all around us?
An answer to the riddle might be that digital technology has transformed a handful of industries in the media/entertainment space that occupy a mindshare that’s out of proportion to their overall economic importance.
The robots aren’t taking our jobs; they’re taking our leisure. more> http://tinyurl.com/otxceoq