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Factory-In-a-Day Project Aims To Deploy Work-Ready Robots Within 24 Hours 157

Posted by samzenpus
from the but-I-want-them-now dept.
Zothecula writes "Industrial robots have proven useful in reducing production costs in large factories, with major enterprises enlisting their services to execute repetitive tasks. The Factory-in-a-Day project, which kicked off in October, aims to also make robotic technology beneficial to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), by developing adaptable robots that can be integrated with workplace systems within 24 hours."
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Factory-In-a-Day Project Aims To Deploy Work-Ready Robots Within 24 Hours

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  • by StoutFiles (2471680) on Monday December 09, 2013 @02:30PM (#45641653)
    They want these right away to replace all their workers who want $15 an hour.
  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@h a c k i sh.org> on Monday December 09, 2013 @02:32PM (#45641669)

    In the situations I've encountered turnaround time hasn't been the bottleneck keeping smaller businesses from automating things with robots. Maybe there are some cases where you really need custom stuff on the spot, but more often you can wait a week. The problem is that at small scale stuff is expensive and high-overhead. If you want one industrial robot, you are going to pay a lot for it, and you are going to incur a lot of labor costs just getting the thing to work.

  • by Sir or Madman (2818071) on Monday December 09, 2013 @02:36PM (#45641703)

    Automation like this only benefits two groups, factory owners and the consumers of the product. Owners want more profit and consumers want cheaper goods. The big loser is the worker who is left without a job. Most workers are also consumers, so more automation is required to keep prices at their level given that they are shifted into lower paying "service" jobs. It's a vicious cycle that's been going on for a century and we now have unheard of disparity between rich and poor. I love the idea of robots doing our bidding and appreciate this tech, but the reality of it sucks.

    I am not a Luddite, but we need to think about how tech affect society. I think most engineers would agree that there are certain technologies that are unethical to work in. To me, this is one of them.

  • FTFY (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daemonik (171801) on Monday December 09, 2013 @02:48PM (#45641805) Homepage
    "Industrial robots have proven useful in reducing EMPLOYEES in large factories, with major enterprises enlisting their services to LAYOFF EMPLOYEES. The Factory-in-a-Day project, which kicked off in October, aims to also make robotic technology beneficial to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), by LAYING OFF EMPLOYEES within 24 hours."
  • Re:FTFY (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LordLimecat (1103839) on Monday December 09, 2013 @03:41PM (#45642365)

    How is an ostensibly tech-oriented site such a hotbed of Luddism?

    Has noone considered how the quality of life goes UP as the number of people required for menial labor goes down? Has noone even looked in a history book, to see if concerns about vanishing workforces have EVER come true? Have all of these so-called geeks never considered how its BETTER to have a more educated workforce than to have one comprised primarily of factory workers?

    Or on the flipside, perhaps one of you can explain why it is preferable that we (as a society / economy) spend money paying people to do non-creative work that can easily be done by an automaton, rather than spending it on art / design / innovation / work that cannot easily be done by a robot?

  • Re:FTFY (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday December 09, 2013 @04:08PM (#45642711) Homepage Journal

    How is an ostensibly tech-oriented site such a hotbed of Luddism?

    It's not. Pointing out that a certain technology has potential negative consequences is not the same thing as destroying technology out of fear and misunderstanding. The opposite, really.

    Has noone considered how the quality of life goes UP as the number of people required for menial labor goes down?

    Depends on how you measure quality of life, and who we're measuring it for.

    Ask yourself this: What was the quality of life for black people in the US right after they were emancipated? You might be surprised by the facts, because it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows.

    Has noone even looked in a history book, to see if concerns about vanishing workforces have EVER come true?

    Has there ever been a time in history where the majority of the workforce could be replaced quickly and cheaply by a single technology? If not, then there's no comparison to make; we kind of jumped the shark in terms of employment when we came up with robotics.

    Have all of these so-called geeks never considered how its BETTER to have a more educated workforce than to have one comprised primarily of factory workers?

    A matter of opinion, and a bad one at that - what, so if a guy works in a factory he's automatically less intelligent, and worth less than the "educated" manager, who got an MBA but never learned what the word "work" actually means? Pardon me if I take offense to that concept.

    Or on the flipside, perhaps one of you can explain why it is preferable that we (as a society / economy) spend money paying people to do non-creative work that can easily be done by an automaton, rather than spending it on art / design / innovation / work that cannot easily be done by a robot?

    Because to sell products, you need customers, and for customers to buy products, they need money, and to acquire money, most people need a job, menial or otherwise. I think they call that the Law of Supply and Demand, or some such nonsense.

I tell them to turn to the study of mathematics, for it is only there that they might escape the lusts of the flesh. -- Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain"

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