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Robotics Technology

Robots In 2020: Lending a Helping Hand To Humans (And Each Other) 46

Lashdots writes: In the next five years, robots won't kill us (or drive our cars). But they will get better at helping us do routine tasks—and at helping each other too. Those are some of the predictions Fast Company gleaned from some of the robotics firms on its "most innovative" list, including Anki Robotics, robot-based genetic testing startup Counsyl, and Lockheed Martin, which has demonstrated a pair of unmanned aerial vehicles that work together to fight fires. I'm just waiting for drones that will simultaneously cut my lawn and deter burglars.
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Robots In 2020: Lending a Helping Hand To Humans (And Each Other)

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  • oh, come on, man (Score:5, Insightful)

    by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Saturday May 02, 2015 @07:33PM (#49602941)
    the burglars will be robots, too.
  • by amxcoder ( 1466081 ) on Saturday May 02, 2015 @07:36PM (#49602959)
    With the push for higher minimum wage for low/no skill jobs, I'm sure there will be more focus on robots that can flip burgers and serve up milk shakes. These types of robots are actually possible with todays technology, only they weren't economical, however if you have to pay McD employee's $30K a year, they will make more sense to the restaurant and fast food industry.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm tired of these lying sociopathic assholes clamming exacerbated bull shit values to push their slavery agenda.

      Even if those imaginary lalaland 30k (not even going to say half) claims were true with the obscene beyond insultuous profits the company makes at around 1 billion dollars i'd bet not only would there still plenty of profits left for shareholders, trampoline CEO's and whatever lawyer and or politician parasite sucking around through legislation to spare, their sales would more than likely increa

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        Machines in every form benefit the owners of the means of production, not the worker that works for someone else. This has been a fact since cottage industry gave way to centralized production at the beginning of the industrial revolution. Machines allow less humans to do more work. That is true of the use of the water-powered forging hammer that replaces a half-dozen men swinging sledge hammers, or of the automated alignment and welding assembly that puts car bodies together without using humans for the
        • Machines in every form benefit the owners of the means of production, not the worker that works for someone else.

          Is that why the average worker is no better off today than they were in 1800?

          • Machines in every form benefit the owners of the means of production, not the worker that works for someone else.

            Is that why the average worker is no better off today than they were in 1800?

            Damn, you beat me to it!

            It's fascinating watching supposedly educated people pining for the good old days when Real Men (tm) were mostly peasants. Sorry guys, automation is what makes things like cars, computers, TVs, refrigerators, fresh fruit in winter, etc. possible....

            • by TWX ( 665546 )

              Machines in every form benefit the owners of the means of production, not the worker that works for someone else.

              Is that why the average worker is no better off today than they were in 1800?

              Damn, you beat me to it!

              It's fascinating watching supposedly educated people pining for the good old days when Real Men (tm) were mostly peasants. Sorry guys, automation is what makes things like cars, computers, TVs, refrigerators, fresh fruit in winter, etc. possible....

              The average person is definitely better off, but that's because we still have more work to do than humans to do it, so increased efficiency per human can still keep people employed. The concern is that we reach a point where our efficiency trumps the need for the mass of humanity to do the work. Some have predicted utopia, but I fully expect strife where the rich continue to get richer while more and more are unemployed. This could lead to a tipping point for revolution. Given that mostly like society a

        • I'm really surprised that fast food and other low-skill, low-wage work hasn't been replaced by robots already. {...} Fast food isn't a skill. It doesn't even come close to coffee shop barista {...} If it costs $200,000 per year to pay employees to work a fast food restaurant, and that cost can be reduced to $60,000 per year by the introduction of a half a million dollars of machinery that will last for a decade, these companies would be nuts to not replace workers with robots.

          Indeed. But on the other hand, we human tend to be social being. And we tend to appreciate contact with other humans.
          Some older people would insist that they *definitely* need to interact with a human being taking order at the cash register, and they *definitely* need to see humans flipping burger in the kitchen behind.
          They would find alienating to pass order to a machine and have their burger prepared by a assembly-line machine.
          And add to that, that people will be down in the streets protesting that they a

    • With the push for higher minimum wage for low/no skill jobs, I'm sure there will be more focus on robots that can flip burgers and serve up milk shakes.

      Oh, please. First you need robots that can do that, second you need people to maintain those machines, third you still need people to do all the other jobs that still have to be done besides flipping burgers and serving shakes. Did you know that most McDonalds shut down every night, everything in the kitchen is taken to the sink to be washed and sanitized, then put back so the morning crew can flip a switch and start serving customers? Did you know that twice a week a huge truck comes by, drops off boxes

      • by servant ( 39835 )
        Continuing on the 'supply chain management' and 'fulfillment' rolls of places like Amazon that has gone a long way to reduce the human involvement. Newer Amazon warehouses (using Kiva robots) are using 'bots to bring stacks of warehouse shelves to the pickers. With more automated 'picking equipment' then even pickers aren't needed. Maintenance could be real maintenance on robots or just 'regrind and re-build 3D plastic robots' if they are wearing out.

        .

        Yes, my generation and the next won't get 'full re

      • by ranton ( 36917 )

        One problem with looking into the future is most people only think of one thing changing at a time. For instance many people though that as buildings became taller, restaurants and other services would need to be built in sky scrapers to provide basic services. They didn't think of potential inventions (such as elevators) that would simply make it easy to travel back and forth between 40 stories. Many of the tasks you describe feel very similar to this issue.

        Did you know that most McDonalds shut down every night, everything in the kitchen is taken to the sink to be washed and sanitized, then put back so the morning crew can flip a switch and start serving customers?

        Robots will not use the same dishes and utensils

    • by zmooc ( 33175 )

      I'm also sure there will be more focus on such robots. However, it's not the minimum wage McDonals employees that will be the first to go. It will be the managers.

      http://marshallbrain.com/manna... [marshallbrain.com]

      Actually, people in horeca/entertainment etc. will probably get to keep their jobs for quite some time. In your typical restaurant, the people serving you are a very important factor. Without a waiter and a real cook you'd probably not even visit a restaurant.

    • Yeah sure the burger flippers should be trembling in their boots. I work on these kind of robots and a few statistics for you. Humanoid robot base systems will cost (minimum) between about $250,000 to $1 million, service and battery costs are going to be about $20,000 to $50,000 per year. Plus each robot will probably need 1 to 2 highly trained technicians on permanent standby and will have en expected mean time between failures (MTBF) of between about 1 day and 1 week. On doing heavy manual labour that MT

  • Vacuum robots (Score:3, Informative)

    by The Grim Reefer ( 1162755 ) on Saturday May 02, 2015 @08:07PM (#49603103)

    I got my wife a Roomba vacuum robot 6 or 7 years ago. She admitted to me that at first she thought it was a waste of money. But after using it for a day or two, she changed her mind completely. We set it up to clean the first floor of our house at night. We just got a Neato BotVac series one this week. It's a big improvement over the older Roomba.We still run the upright vacuum cleaner every couple of weeks. But in a house with three large dogs, it would be a daily chore w/o the robot vacuums. It's not Rosie the robot, but they are a time saver for us.

    I think my daughter was a little disappointed. She was expecting to be able to have a conversation with the Roomba one. Or at least R2D2 level of responses.

    • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Saturday May 02, 2015 @08:19PM (#49603137) Homepage

      I got my wife, a Roomba vacuum robot, 6 or 7 years ago.

      My hobby: repunctuation.

    • I got my wife a Roomba vacuum robot 6 or 7 years ago. She admitted to me that at first she thought it was a waste of money. But after using it for a day or two, she changed her mind completely.

      You do realize that this particular Roomba comes with a well concealed dildo option, right?

    • On the topic of vacuum robots...

      Has anyone seen any vacuum robot that integrates with central vacuum? I'd love to have the robot's base station connected with my central vac so when the robot returns to charge the central vac empties the robot and maybe even cleans its filters a little. The combination would be true launch-and-forget ongoing carpet cleaning.

  • "I'm just waiting for drones that will simultaneously cut my lawn and deter burglars."

    • by dbc ( 135354 )

      This is the most hilarious thing I've read on the internet all week. And it is totally doable -- just mount a weed whacker on a Boston Dynamics Spot and you have a pretty good prototype for AngryGoat 1.0. The great thing about the weed whacker is that it is effective for both cutting grass and driving off burglars.

  • I'm just waiting for drones that will simultaneously cut my lawn and deter burglars.

    Why not drones that *cut burglars* and *deter the lawn* from growing?
    Oh right, that would involve harming humans. Seems like a much more interesting solution to me, though.

    • I'm just waiting for drones that will simultaneously cut my lawn and deter burglars.

      Why not drones that *cut burglars* and *deter the lawn* from growing?

      Well, a robotic sprinkler that sprayed Agent Orange would be half of the solution. The idea would need to be more developed, but I'm thinking that DARPA would cough up the cash for that.

      • I'm thinking of a silly-high-power laser with a rotating mirror that slowly pans across the lawn, cutting every blade to a precisely equal height.

  • then nothing of this will materialize.

  • They already are...

  • what about basic income or we can just the have the displaced workers gum up the works what do they care if they are losing the jobs any ways hell the they can let the jail take care of there room and board + doctors.

    • Just send in the riot squad to beat up the angry unemployed, then charge anyone who tries to organise with inciting a terrorist act.

  • I'm just waiting for drones that will simultaneously cut my lawn and deter burglars.

    According to Gary Larson, that would be robodog Ginger featured in "You call that mowing the lawn? Bad dog! No biscuit!" Well, you might have to put a beanie prop-hat on the dog, but it would be pretty close...

  • As soon as someone invents a robot that can sort the lights from the darks and not overload the machine I buy into the hype. Once they have an affordable dish washing robot I'll buy.

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