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Investments in Training 0

Posted on 22, July 2019

in Category Blog

Manufacturers have been fretting about the Skills Gap for years, seeing a looming crisis which has by now actually arrived in some areas. One of the plausible explanations for the problem is a lack of investment in training. Just 54% of manufacturers invested in worker training in 2018. Estimates say that all manufacturing employee training averages just over $1,200 per person per year. In 1979, manufacturing companies spent 2.5 weeks training workers each year. That number fell to just 11 hours in 1995, but has jumped to 47.5 hours in the past two years. Note that this is still just [&hellip

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Tribots 0

Posted on 19, July 2019

in Category Blog

Robots are often humanoid in appearance.This seems reasonable, since they’re so often taking the place of human beings in executing tasks on a factory floor. Increasingly, they also mimic other life forms, taking on the characteristics of mammals or insects or other creatures to take advantage of evolution. By copying mechanisms that developed over millennia, researchers get a short cut to great design. But a new robot — though it was inspired by trap-jaw ants — is sidestepping all life-oriented design decisions in favor of something more like origami or maybe office supplies. Weighing just ten grams, the tiny Tribot [&hellip

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Robot Umpires 0

Posted on 17, July 2019

in Category Blog

Robots build things, clean things, and move things. Something a little different is the new robot umpire trying its robotic (and metaphorical) hands at umpiring for professional baseball. Having robots make judgements makes sense. They’re fair, consistent, and unbiased… right? In fact, experience has shown that robots, or AI programs taking on the role of robot deciders, are quite biased. Machine learning leads to increasing bias. It starts out almost undetectable in the minds of the programmers, and by the time the robots have done a few rounds, it’s completely obvious to all observers. But the robot umpires, also known [&hellip

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McBots Take a Step Forward in Fast Food Robotics 0

Posted on 15, July 2019

in Category Blog

Greg Creed, CEO of fast food behemoth Yum! Foods, reckons that robots will take over fast food joints within the next decade. Fast food is in many ways the perfect industry for automation. These jobs have been the focus of activism to increase the minimum wage. It’s been going on long enough, and with enough success, that employers have seen evidence that raising wages doesn’t increase productivity in this field or make the jobs more desirable. Human fast food workers are just becoming more expensive, not better. It’s not a very satisfying job, when you get right down to it. [&hellip

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Making Robots More Popular 0

Posted on 12, July 2019

in Category Blog

Moxi, robot by Diligent Robotics

   Nurses are aware that a lot of their work could be done by a robot. By and large, they believe that they should keep their jobs. Robots, they think, can’t manage the human relationships which are so important in nursing. What’s more, they believe that they train hard and work hard and generally deserve to keep their jobs, even if those jobs could be done by robots. Nurses are a hard sell when it comes to automation. That makes it all the more impressive that Diligent Robotics came up with a robot nurses love. Its name is Moxi, [&hellip

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The Assembly Line 0

Posted on 10, July 2019

in Category Blog

A century ago, Henry Ford’s assembly line revolutionized the way things were made. Until that time, things were generally made one thing at a time. A craftsman would make one chair, start to finish, before moving on to the next chair. Henry Ford was able to take the 12.5 hours involved in building a car and whittle it down to 93 minutes. This dazzling feat changed not just production, but life itself. Or so they usually say. It may not be true. The three primary concepts of assembly lines are these: Workers stay where they are and work comes to [&hellip

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Robot Job Loss: How to Avoid the Consequences 0

Posted on 8, July 2019

in Category Blog

A famous paper by a pair of Oxford economists classified a long list of 702 U.S. jobs according to how susceptible they would be to automation. 47% were judged at high risk for automation. The classification was automatic, as it happens. The economists built an AI program to make those judgements. This made their work fall into the category of a job with tasks that could be automated. Studies have concluded that about 30% of all the tasks humans do in the U.S. could be automated. Since most workers, including economists, do more than one task, this means that many [&hellip

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Heat Related Failures in Rexroth Indramat Drives 0

Posted on 3, July 2019

in Category Blog, Indramat Tips

Summer brings us warm days, balmy nights — and heat related failures in Rexroth servo drives. The most common cause of heat-related problems with drives is the failure of the powered fan found on almost all drives and power supplies. This fan is typically on the underside of the drive, centered in depth on the unit. You can usually see it if you look at the underside. If the fan fails, the drive will start to age at an accelerated rate. Essentially, your unit will become a year older in drive years each week. If the unit is in a [&hellip

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Oxford Economics on the Rise of the Robots 0

Posted on 1, July 2019

in Category Blog

We keep an eye on the news about robots as threats to jobs. Depending who you listen to, you’ll usually find one of these claims: Robots will take our jobs. Or at least a lot of our tasks. Robots will free us for new, more interesting jobs. Oxford Economics released a report titled “How robots change the world,” exploring the current effects of robots, and the likely future changes they’ll bring about. The number of robots in use has tripled over the past decade, and the blokes at Oxford Economics have studied the data. One thing certainly stands out: how [&hellip

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