Robot Abuse

People rely heavily on their industrial robots. They’re getting used to home robots. But they’re also abusing robots. It’s an international phenomenon.

People have beaten robots up, taken them apart and left them in pieces, kicked them, spray painted graffiti on them, and hit them with baseball bats.

Sequoyah Kennedy of Mysterious Universe suggests that beating up a robot is no worse than destroying a toaster.  We’re not so sure. Robots cost a lot more than a toaster, but we also aren’t seeing gangs of louts beating up toasters. The impulse to hurt a robot has more to do with its being like a human than with its being a machine.

Why are people hurting robots?

Of course, they’re not hurting robots. Robots don’t have feelings, so they don’t get hurt. They don’t even read about other robots getting hurt and feel worried.

But the news stories aren’t about people taking a screwdriver to robots. They’re about people kicking robots and otherwise behaving violently. And it’s happening frequently, in classrooms and grocery stores and out on the street.

Some observers suggest that people are truly worried about robots taking over their jobs or otherwise doing them harm. Like the Luddites who broke the looms that threatened their artisanal jobs, this theory suggests, human workers destroy robots for fear that robots will replace them.

Another theory is that it’s all about the uncanny valley — robots are enough like people to stir feelings of fellowship, but enough unlike people to creep human beings out. These feelings are understood to be the source of people’s phobias about clowns and dolls, and of the special repulsiveness of zombies.

Ordinary industrial robots don’t bring up these feelings. People also don’t slap ordinary industrial robots around.

If you’re powering and controlling your robots with Rexroth electric industrial motion control systems, we cab provide all the support and service you need, from phone consultation to factory repair and reman. Call us today.


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