The engineers were testing the Lettuce Bot, a machine that can "thin" a field of lettuce in the time it takes about 20 workers to do the job by hand.Bruising is the primary bottleneck to robots doing the work of humans in the field. That hurdle will soon be cleared. Believe that. And when this hurdle is cleared a lot of field that requires pressure sensitivity will be affected. Nurses to give shots? Not anymore. But that's for later. Understand that once this technology is perfected the mass importation of labour will be no longer necessary. The only person the farmer will have to pay for is himself and those who repair his machines. Productivity will skyrocket and more humans will be displaced. Of course they will be told that they have been "freed" from physical labour and can now compete in the upper (more prestigious) jobs that requires a high debt college degree. Of course all these unemployed men won't make for "good" husbands, unless of course they are stay at home dads. *smirk* In the movie Surrogates, the "Dreddies" rejected technology. They did so because ultimately the technology had made being human with human interdependencies and vulnerabilities impossible. I'm not suggesting that one become a luddite. I certainly am not against the use of technology but I think that too few are thinking of the huge changes that are upon us in societies that are "advanced". Other links: Technology and The Coming Gender Relations Steve Wozniak Wants 'Human Computer' to Tutor Kids I, robot, The Social Problem
The thinner is part of a new generation of machines that target the last frontier of agricultural mechanization - fruits and vegetables destined for the fresh market, not processing, which have thus far resisted mechanization because they're sensitive to bruising.
Researchers are now designing robots for these most delicate crops by integrating advanced sensors, powerful computing, electronics, computer vision, robotic hardware and algorithms, as well as networking and high precision GPS localization technologies. Most ag robots won't be commercially available for at least a few years.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Technology and Labour...
A few months ago I wrote a piece on the upcoming changes in gender relations that will be caused by massive changes in technology. The piece upset a "few" people who thought I was being "anti-male". Unlike a lot of folks, I don't have my head in the sand. Of course things do not have to work out as I predict but that does not make it any less likely to happen. The primary point of the piece was that the changes will occur as a result of displacing men from the workplace by eliminating physically dangerous manual labour by means of robots and drones. Robots and drones will replace firemen, police officers, and the like because they will be able to do the same work for far less costs such as salaries, healthcare, sick days, liabilities and of course risk of death. A few men and women will be hired to maintain and program these drones but they will be far fewer than the vast numbers of men who will be tossed out of their jobs. The next thing I'm going to point out is the mechanization of the farm. This is important for two reasons. The first is the current immigration debate. Understand that many illegal immigrants (I refuse to use the term "undocumented") are in the US to be exploited on farms and factories across the US. Jobs that Americans allegedly will not do. What happens when the robots hit the farms?