Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

We, Robot

By
From page A4 | December 18, 2013 | 5 Comments

In the 2004 sci-fi film, “I, Robot,” featuring Will Smith, super intelligent robots run amok, starting a revolution and deciding which humans should survive — sort of like Obmacare’s death panel. But we digress. It appears we are on the threshold of a robot revolution of our own, one that will improve efficiency and improve our lives in ways we don’t yet know.

Hopefully we won’t have to battle robots in 2035 like detective Del Spooner (Smith) and his robotic prosthetic arm did.

First of all, the folks who brought us the self-driving car, Google gurus, have now acquired seven companies, including a Japanese one, that will be used to create the next generation of robots. The man in charge of robotic development and envisioning for Google is Andy Rubin, who developed Google’s Android software that powers nearly every phone that isn’t made by Apple.

Rubin, who previously worked for Apple, actually began his career as a manufacturing and robotics engineer for the German company Carl Zeiss.

The self-driving car project began in 2009, and it has already had an effect on automotive technology as radar and cameras are added to new vehicles to apply the brakes automatically to avoid rear-end collisions, to warn of passing vehicles in the rear-view mirror’s blind spot, to warn of cross traffic or pedestrians when backing up from shopping center parking stalls and rear-view cameras to prevent a driver from backing into another vehicle or a small child. It’s only a matter of time before you can type a destination address into your vehicle’s navigation system and ask it to drive you there.

For such a forward-thinking company as Google, though, Amazon.com may already be two steps ahead.

Amazon.com also bought a robotics company called Kiva Systems Inc. Amazon is working to have robots hunt and retrieve products from a warehouse in Seattle. That is predicted by industry analysts to shave 20-40 percent off the $3.50-$3.75 cost of fulfilling a typical order.

Shawn Milne of Janney Capital Markets told the Wall Street Journal the potential savings for Amazon.com could be more than $900 million. Amazon, he predicted, could also sell robots to other companies.

We thought drone delivery of packages was the most exciting look into the future. Instead, it’s going to be “We, Robot”: from warehouses to burger flipping and maybe even backseat driving.

 

Mountain Democrat

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 5 comments

  • cookie65December 18, 2013 - 7:00 am

    Watch how the arbitrary increases in minimum wages force the private sector into even more automation eliminating even more jobs. If it weren't for leftists all the people they claim to help wouldn't need any help. The pig thinks the farmer is his friend because he feeds it everyday.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Fran DuchampDecember 18, 2013 - 8:39 am

    cookie...BOS yesterday the 17th. "Library Department recommending the Board authorize the Chair to sign a Budget Transfer appropriating $41,951 from the El Dorado Hills Library special revenue contingency fund for repair of the automated materials handling system (check-in system) at the El Dorado Hills Library. (4/5 vote required) FUNDING: El Dorado Hills Library Special Revenue Fund (County Service Area No. 10, Zone E, El Dorado Hills)." Librarians hours cut (did the director take a cut?) or jobs eliminated all together....automation for checking out your own books...comps and robots are not "sustainable" Can "robots" be the new tourists? Watch where your donations go. Are you helping pay for the "robots" physical? lololol When will anyone realise--that by cutting out jobs--the consumer will have no money --so businesses will die. I think they BOS should do a study on the well being of the people of El Dorado since Economic groups have been "helping"--I know it would be an interesting story in Pollock Pines/Camino...bring the lie detector test as well for any surveys done. I still havent seen any of the econ groups or Chambers riding their bikes up and down from Sac. to Tahoe. Actually some of them come with great big cars...so someone still has money.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • good old dazeDecember 18, 2013 - 10:16 am

    And won't it be wonderful to ride the roundabout while listening to your hands free navigation system reminding you, "Error does not compute" as you make a perpetual left turn. At least you will have your hands free to salute your fellow drivers and the people that made it possible. Welcome to the slave new world.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • kggDecember 18, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    mountain democrat wrote: 'In the 2004 sci-fi film, “I, Robot,” featuring Will Smith, super intelligent robots run amok, starting a revolution and deciding which humans should survive — sort of like Obmacare’s death panel." kgg writes: just can't help yourself can you? in a totally unrelated article - you have to insult the president. and with a lie. surely even you, must know that the "death panels" are bogus. for shame.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Ed ItorDecember 18, 2013 - 6:26 pm

    Kgg did you miss the part about sci-fi? .... science fiction? Your seeing cyborgs behind every tree.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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