May 2013

It’s time to talk about the burgeoning robot middle class | MIT Technology Review

May 14, 2013 by Hallie Siegel

The elephant in the room is how robotics will play out for human employment in the long term. New robots will take on advanced manufacturing, tutoring, scheduling, and customer relations. They operate equipment, manage construction, operate backhoes, and yes, even drive tomorrow’s cars. It is time for not just economists but roboticists, like me, to ask, “How will robotic advances transform society in potentially dystopian ways?” My concern is that without serious discourse and explicit policy changes, the current path will lead to an ever more polarized economic world, with robotic technologies replacing the middle class and further distancing our society from authentic opportunity and economic justice. – Illah Nourbakhsh


Inequality In The Robot Future

Forbes-May 13, 2013

Kevin Drum has a new column that echoes most of my thoughts on the robot future. It is likely to come within the next few decades and be more transformative


‘Symbolic’ reshoring will not lead to jobs boom, survey suggests

By Andrew Bounds in Manchester, Financial Times, May 10, 2013

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Manufacturers are increasingly bringing production back to developed economies but this reshoring is merely “symbolic” and will not lead to a jobs boom, according to a survey of businesses. “Our data and interviews with more than two dozen executives show that reshoring is symbolic. It does not represent the rebirth of American or European manufacturing,” said Kevin O’Marah, of SCM, who co-authored with Hau Lee, of Stanford University, a study of 330 business leaders’ future plans. Mr O’Marah said a combination of increasing automation and growing demand in emerging markets relative to developed…move to cheaper locations, many industries were investing in automation, with 62 per cent expecting to increase capital spending in…


German rail network to fight graffiti with drones

News – May 27, 2013, 1:53 PM | By Tim Hornyak

Deutsche Bahn wants to deploy silent drones to thwart vandalism to its trains and property, which cost the operator nearly $10 million last year.


iRobot military bots to patrol 2014 World Cup in Brazil

News – May 15, 2013, 10:36 AM | By Tim Hornyak

The battle-tested PackBot 510 will join soldiers, police, and drones to keep the World Cup safe from threats. Will these 30 bots kick a ball around too?


UN expert demands freeze on robot weapons | Bangkok Post: news

Bangkok Post-May 30, 2013

The international community must impose a moratorium on robot weapons which can make their own decision to kill, a UN expert told the world body’s top


Drone Adventures in Haiti

by Adam Klaptocz
May 29, 2013

Hello drones lovers! Here is the video of our first humanitarian mission with Drone Adventures. We went to Haiti to explore the potential uses of drones to map encampments, riverbeds and entire villages.


New Robotics and new opportunities

by Alan Winfield
May 28, 2013

Here are the slides of my talk at the BARA Academic Forum for Robotics meeting Robotics: from innovation to service, on Monday 20 May 2013…


What is the single biggest obstacle preventing robotics from going mainstream?

by RBI Editors, May 15, 2013

It has been said that we are on the edge of a ‘robotic tipping point’ … but where, exactly, is this edge? And what’s holding us back?  This month we asked our panelists to weigh in on what’s keeping robots from going mainstream. Here’s what they have to say …


Swords to plowshares: Experts see farming as next big use for drones | Cronkite News

May 27, 2013 by John Payne

WASHINGTON – Drones numbering in the tens of thousands will be in the skies by 2030, the Federal Aviation Administration predicts. But where some may fear precision weapons or flying spy cameras, Steve Markofski sees flying tractors.


The man behind the Google Brain: Andrew Ng and the new AI | WIRED UK

May 8, 2013 by Hallie Siegel

In tandem with other researchers at Google, Ng is building one of the most ambitious artificial-intelligence systems to date, the so-called Google Brain. Ng leads a new field of computer science research known as Deep Learning, which is based on a theory that human intelligence stems from a single algorithm, and which seeks to build machines that can process data in much the same way the brain does.


Bernanke weighs in on robot wars; brings Keynes for backup

Kate Mackenzie, Financial Times, May 20, 2013

“Many factors affect the development of the economy, notably among them a nation’s economic and political institutions, but over long periods probably the most important factor is the pace of scientific and technological progress.”

That’s Ben Bernanke addressing a graduating class at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Massachusetts, on Saturday. He goes on to say that not everyone believes this advancement is going to continue at such a great pace. Yes, he is talking about Robert Gordon and Tyler Cowen, and their arguments that much of the low-hanging fruit has been plucked and we face a lower-growth future, as evidenced by the incremental advancements of recent years.


April 2013

Automation is the way forward’

The New Indian Express-Apr 28, 2013

While addressing the gathering Dr R S Shivakumara Aradhya said, “Automation is a tool which should be extensively adopted in the industry. Quality of goods


Colombia Leads Latin America in Automation, Experts Say

Fox News Latino-Apr 12, 2013

Carlos Hugo Pedreros, director in Colombia of the International Society of Automation, one of the organizers of this specialized trade show, said Thursday that


Northeast China to build robot industrial base – Nanowerk

Nanowerk LLC-May 2, 2013

(Nanowerk News) A robot industrial base with an estimated annual output of 50 billion yuan (8billion U.S. dollars) will be established in northeast China’s



March 2013

Updated Robotics Roadmap Presented to US Congress


… The Roadmap’s pdf is a must-read, full of real information, and can be downloaded here.
… Six sectors were reviewed: (1) Manufacturing, (2) Medical Robots, (3) Healthcare Robotics, (4) Service Robots (both professional and domestic), (5) Space and (6) Defense were all discussed. … Congress was asked to invest in core science challenges stimulating development and solutions across all six sectors – challenges like robust 3D perception, planning and navigation, dexterous manipulation, intuitive HRI, and safe robot behavior.


Robots Aren’t the Problem: It’s Us

By Richard Florida, March 25, 2013, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Automation will engender neither utopia nor dystopia. Humans alone are responsible for our society’s economic future. … Everyone has an opinion about technology. Depending on whom you ask, it will either: a) Liberate us from the drudgery of everyday life, rescue us from disease and hardship, and enable the unimagined flourishing of human civilization; or b) Take away our jobs, leave us broke, purposeless, and miserable, and cause civilization as we know it to collapse.


The Leading Manufacturers of Military Robots at-a-Glance

03/20/13 — This is an overview of leading manufacturers of military robots compiled in March 2013 by the Global Robotics Brain. The Global Robotics Brain is a product that business intelligence consultant, Wolfgang Heller, started to keep track of the robotsphere. Inspired by Google’s PageRank, Heller asked himself: Could he use a similar approach to draw a map of interactions between the different robotics players and identify who is doing the most relevant work? What trends are emerging? In 2005, after a visit to the World Robotics Exhibition in Aichi, Japan, he started to systematically feed his database with anything related to robotics he…


Prepare Yourself: National Robotics Week Is Next Week!

Evan Ackerman  /  Wed, April 03, 2013

Hey! You there! What are your plans for National Robotics Week? It’s an officially nationally recognized event in the United States, which I’m reasonably sure means that if you don’t celebrate it, you get arrested or made fun of or something. To make sure this doesn’t happen, there are a huge number of events all over the country, and you should find one near you to go check out.


Top 5 reasons for self-driving cars

Video Featuring Brian Cooley – Mar 25, 2013, 10:02 AM Length: 3:51

Self-driving cars are coming, here are some good reasons to welcome one in your driveway.


Can You Handle the Manufacturing Resurgence?

Automation World-Mar 26, 2013

Spirits are high in the U.S. manufacturing sector as clear evidence of business resurgence and re-shoring become more tangible across the industry. But some


$21000 robot Nao is newest teacher at Kansas high school

New York Daily News-Mar 31, 2013

Steve Stacey, an instructor at Hutchinson, Kan., High School, watches the new robot Nao go through a pre-programmed dance at the school’s Career and


Brookings Report Praises Robot ‘Teaching Assistants’ Among Other …

EdSurge (blog)-Mar 26, 2013

A recently issued report from the Brookings Institution highlights five edtech “successes” which have “demonstrated the ability to improve efficiency and


Robot-Delivered Speech and Physical Therapy a Success

Science Daily (press release)-Mar 20, 2013

Mar. 20, 2013 — In one of the earliest experiments using a humanoid robot to deliver speech and physical therapy to a stroke patient, researchers at the


QBotix robot juices solar yield at Dublin jail

San Francisco Business Times (blog)-by Lindsay Riddell-Mar 19, 2013

QBotix, which makes robots that adjust solar panels to absorb maximum sunlight, unveiled today its first commercial solar installation at the Alameda County


Robot Surgeries Linked to Injuries, Deaths

Newsmax Health-Mar 5, 2013

After Michelle Zarick complained of excessive vaginal bleeding, her doctor found growths in her uterus that needed to be removed. One option: robot surgery,

Law firms seek victims of ‘bad robot surgery’

Mar 01, 2013, 11:51 AM | By Tim Hornyak

Did your robot doctor mess up your insides? This lawsuit in the making sounds like a joke, but it’s real.



February 2012

Spy-camera robot penguins infiltrate bird colonies

Feb 12, 2013, 10:04 AM | By Amanda Kooser

A BBC documentary team unleashed 50 spycams into penguin colonies, including cameras that served as eyes for robotic penguins, to capture stunning close-up footage of the unusual birds.

Robot Shakespeare Company Releases “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

PR Newswire (press release)-Mar 5, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The Robot Shakespeare Company produces animated Shakespeare plays with sci-fi robots playing all the


Japan robot suit gets global safety certificate

AFP-Feb 27, 2013

TOKYO — A robot suit that can help the elderly or disabled get around was given its global safety certificate in Japan on Wednesday, paving the way for its

January 2012

Are robots hurting job growth?

January 13, 2013 5:00 PM CBS 60 Minutes Report

Must see video: Technological advances, especially robotics, are revolutionizing the workplace, but not necessarily creating jobs. Steve Kroft reports.

FTAV video: the robot employment threat

Cardiff Garcia | Jan 30

Must see video in link…


beyond scarcity series by Izabella Kaminska

Must see this series…


Middle-class jobs cut in recession feared gone for good, lost to technology

Associated Press, Published: January 25

NEW YORK — Five years after the start of the Great Recession, the toll is terrifyingly clear: Millions of middle-class jobs have been lost in developed countries the world over. And the situation is even worse than it appears. Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market. What’s more, these jobs aren’t just being lost to China and other developing countries, and they aren’t just factory work. Increasingly, jobs are disappearing in the service sector, home to two-thirds of all workers. They’re being obliterated by technology.


Big Data and cloud computing empower smart machines to do human work, take human jobs

Associated Press, Published: January 18 | Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013

WASHINGTON — Art Liscano knows he’s an endangered species in the job market: He’s a meter reader in Fresno, Calif. For 26 years, he’s driven from house to house, checking how much electricity Pacific Gas & Electric customers have used. But PG&E doesn’t need many people like Liscano making rounds anymore. Every day, the utility replaces 1,200 old-fashioned meters with digital versions that can collect information without human help, generate more accurate power bills, even send an alert if the power goes out.


A world without work: As robots, computers get smarter, will humans have anything left to do?

Associated Press, Published: January 18 | Updated: Friday, January 25, 2013

WASHINGTON — They seem right out of a Hollywood fantasy, and they are: Cars that drive themselves have appeared in movies like “I, Robot” and the television show “Knight Rider.” Now, three years after Google invented one, automated cars could be on their way to a freeway near you. In the U.S., California and other states are rewriting the rules of the road to make way for driverless cars. Just one problem: What happens to the millions of people who make a living driving cars and trucks — jobs that always have seemed sheltered from the onslaught of technology?

The Darkest Predictions For The Robot Economy Put Future

Max Nisen | Jan. 28, 2013

The Associated Press has a three-part series on one of the biggest questions business and society will face in coming years. Are we prepared for a world where 50 to 75 percent of workers are unemployed? It seems like a ridiculous question, but it’s something economists and technologists say we seriously need to think about. It’s just math.  Rice University computer science professor Moshe Vardi says that in 25 years “driving [done] by people will look quaint; it will look like a horse and buggy.” So there go many of the approximately 4 million driving jobs out there. Same for sanitation, and those are just a couple examples of how physical jobs will be replaced. 


60 Minutes Robotics Segment Stirs Controversy

01/16/13 — “There are two sides to every story; the truth inevitably resides somewhere in between.”—ancient proverb There is no question that rapidly advancing robot and AI technology are enabling companies to bring back work previously done overseas, especially in China. At the same time, they are eliminating the need for human…


Automation, innovation driving new economy

Arizona Daily Star-Jan 27, 2013

On paper, the Great Recession has been over for several years. But to many workers displaced by the economy’s sudden contraction in late 2008 and 2009, it still feels like an uphill battle. Jobs in construction have yet to rebound. Many government agencies and schools still employ far fewer than they did four years ago. And many jobs in middle management are being added back on a contract or part-time basis. The numbers are startling. According to The Associated Press, half of the 7.5 million jobs lost during the Great Recession were in industries that pay middle-class wages, ranging from $38,000 to $68,000. But only 2 percent of the 3.5 million jobs gained since the recession ended in June 2009 are in midpay industries. Nearly 70 percent are in low-pay industries, 29 percent in industries that pay well. The result is what economists call the “hollowing out” of the middle-class workforce, and it is far from over. They predict the loss of millions more jobs as technology becomes even more sophisticated and reaches deeper into our lives.


December 2012

Rise of the Robots

By PAUL KRUGMAN, NY Times, December 8, 2012,

Catherine Rampell and Nick Wingfield write about the growing evidence for “reshoring” of manufacturing to the United States. They cite several reasons: rising wages in Asia; lower energy costs here; higher transportation costs. In a followup piece, however, Rampell cites another factor: robots.


Robots and Robber Barons

By PAUL KRUGMAN, NY Times Op-Ed December 9, 2012

The American economy is still, by most measures, deeply depressed. But corporate profits are at a record high. How is that possible? It’s simple: profits have surged as a share of national income, while wages and other labor compensation are down. The pie isn’t growing the way it should – but capital is doing fine by grabbing an ever-larger slice, at labor’s expense. Wait – are we really back to talking about capital versus labor? Isn’t that an old-fashioned, almost Marxist sort of discussion, out of date in our modern information economy? Well, that’s what many people thought; for the past generation discussions of inequality have focused overwhelmingly not on capital versus labor but on distributional issues between workers, either on the gap between more- and less-educated workers or on the soaring incomes of a handful of superstars in finance and other fields. But that may be yesterday’s story. More specifically, while it’s true that the finance guys are still making out like bandits – in part because, as we now know, some of them actually are bandits – the wage gap between workers with a college education and those without, which grew a lot in the 1980s and early 1990s, hasn’t changed much since then. Indeed, recent college graduates had stagnant incomes even before the financial crisis struck. Increasingly, profits have been rising at the expense of workers in general, including workers with the skills that were supposed to lead to success in today’s economy. Why is this happening? As best as I can tell, there are two plausible explanations, both of which could be true to some extent. One is that technology has taken a turn that places labor at a disadvantage; the other is that we’re looking at the effects of a sharp increase in monopoly power. Think of these two stories as emphasizing robots on one side, robber barons on the other. …


China: Robotic Growth Tied to Factory Automation Advancements

Automation World-Dec 21, 2012

Morgan Stanley (www.morganstanley.com) recently released a Blue Paper, entitled, China – Robotics: Automation for the People and it includes growth factors,


Da Vinci Surgery Robot Lawsuits Mount, as Bernstein Liebhard LLP

San Francisco Chronicle (press release)-11 hours ago

According to a recent report issued by Citron Research, Intuitive Surgical has been named in at least nine Da Vinci Robot lawsuits alleging bad outcomes


2013: The rise of the robot cars

ZDNet-Dec 21, 2012

The face of today’s robot car owes a lot to the autonomous vehicles developed for Google by Stanford’s Sebastian Thrun. His work on Stanford’s entries in the


The rise of the robot

Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard-Dec 18, 2012

In whatever form they take, it’s darned exciting to think that we are not far off from having armies of robots all around us that collectively make it easier to be a …


November 2012

The March of Robots Into Chinese Factories

Businessweek-Nov 29, 2012

Step into the factory of Chinese SUV and truck maker Great Wall Motors, and it’s easy to forget you’re in the world’s most populous country. Swiss-made robots


10 Amazing Robots We Met in 2012

Mashable-Nov 26, 2012

That doesn’t mean robots weren’t on our mind this year. And if your absurdly quaint notion of free will leads you to suggest a robot that didn’t make our list,


A future full of robots

Nanowerk LLC-Nov 29, 2012

(Nanowerk News) A future where robots are as common as cars – and cheaper – is on the way. This is according to Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro, named one of the top


October 2012

Seafaring robot sails through Sandy unscathed

CNET-Nov 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy has destroyed houses, cars, and boats, and caused some $20 billion in property damage, but one robot rode out the storm at sea without a


Big companies count on technology for supply chain future

The Age-Nov 5, 2012

Two of Australia’s largest enterprises have nominated big data and automation as the emerging technologies and the biggest opportunities for their future supply


Robotics highlighted at automation expo

China Daily-Nov 5, 2012

A leading industrial automation exhibition that opens in Shanghai on Nov 6 will feature more than 500 Chinese and overseas companies showcasing their latest


China: Beyond the conveyor belt

…at it’ mentality for production for most of the last decade, there is plenty of room for improvements in efficiency and automation,” says Michael Bellamy of Passagemaker. The Shenzhen-based company supplies clients in Europe, the US and Australia… By Kathrin Hille and Rahul Jacob


Small Robots to Extend Life Expectancy by 2030

Product Design & Development-Oct 24, 2012

Distinguished members of IEEE have found that advancements in small robots, ranging from nanorobots to shoebox-sized robots, hold promise for delivering

September 2012

The Next iPhone May Be Made By Robots

WebProNews-Sep 27, 2012

The switch to robot labor has come at a time when Foxconn has been forced to start paying its workers more. Due to FLA audits and riots, Foxconn has agreed to

Buckle up for the Robot revolution

The Seattle Times-Sep 20, 2012

If robots can do the labor-intensive jobs, it may not matter whether the factory is in A robot and a student interact at an exhibition at the London Science

A Driverless Car Will Be The First Real Robot You’ll Own

(Jalopnik.com ) September 26, 2012 – Nevada has already started licensing driverless cars. California is right behind them, albeit with a few more caveats (big off switches, etc). This is just the beginning, of course.


Why Driverless Cars Are Inevitable—and a Good Thing

The driverless car is coming. And Dan Neil says we all should be glad it is. 09/24/12 WSJ


Bionic Eye Reawakens Blind Woman’s Optic Nerve

09/18/12 — An Australian woman has partially regained her sight thanks to a prototype bionic eye scientists have developed. Dianne Ashworth had severe vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa, but thanks to a bionic eye transplant in May at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, she was able to see different shapes. “All of a sudden I could see a little flash … it was amazing,” Ashworth, who is 54 years old, said in a statement. “Every time there was stimulation there was a different shape that appeared in front of my eye.” The bionic eye is only able to give patients mild…


A Factory of Robots to Make Uniforms

Posted 07/19/12 at 07:32 PM

… There was an uproar when it became known that China is producing the uniforms and flags for the American Olympic team for this year’s London Olympics. … The Pentagon is worried about the same situation regarding our military’s uniforms and has contracted SoftWear Automation to build a complete robotic production facility to cut, assemble and sew uniforms. … A retired GA Tech professor published a paper on the subject – describing a fully automated work cell with vision controlled cutters and sewing machines. … Details here.


2011 Industrial & Service Robotics Statistics

Posted 09/07/12 at 02:50 PM

… The Intl. Federation of Robotics has released their 2012 books reflecting 2011 results, and projections for 2012-2015. … Bottom line: 2011 was very successful for industrial robot manufacturers and growth rates will be in double digits for years to come. 2011 sales of industrial robots—166,000 units; $8.5 billion in sales—are up 38% from 2010 and expected to reach 181,000 robots for 2012. Service robot sales, which include every other type of robot, were up 9% from 2010 and reflected 16,408 units of which 32% were in the defense sector. … Personal and domestic robot sales were up 15% over 2010 and reflected 2.5 million units, $636 million in sales, mostly in toys and robot vacuums. … The two books cost $540 each but in-depth free summaries can be found here. … These are the most comprehensive recaps of what robots are tasked to do, how many of them are doing it, and how much revenue has accrued to the industry. … The charts and slides shown at this link accompanied the presentation of the announcement (at a press conference in Taipei) of the publication of the two books.


Thomas Friedman Breaks Secrecy About Rethink Robotics’ New Robot

Posted 08/26/12 at 09:33 PM

… In a NY Times Weekend Review OpEd piece, three-time Pulitzer winner and prolific author Thomas Friedman saw Rethink Robotics’ new robot. His comments and observations about the new robot and the team that invented it were refreshing and invigorating. They gave example to the prescription Friedman outlined in his most recent book, “That Used To Be Us.” … “This is the march of progress. It [the new Rethink robot] eliminates bad jobs, empowers good jobs, but always demands more skill and creativity and always enables fewer people to do more things,” wrote Friedman who went on to say: “what this election should be about is how we spawn thousands of Rethinks that create new industries, new jobs and productivity tools. Alas, it isn’t. So I’m just grateful these folks here in Boston didn’t get the word.” … Read Friedman’s article here.

Financial automation set to keep rising, MathWorks survey says

Automated Trader-Sep 27, 2012

London – Nearly three out of five financial institutions are looking to increase levels of automated trading, according to a survey conducted by computing software


July-Aug. 2012

North American Robotics Industry Posts Best Quarter Ever, According to New Statistics from RIA

Robotic Industries Association Posted 07/26/2012

Ann Arbor, Michigan – North American robotics companies sold more industrial robots in the second quarter of 2012 than any previous quarter in history, according to new statistics released by Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group. A total of 5,556 robots valued at $403.1 million were sold to North American companies, a jump of 14% in units and 28% in dollars over the same quarter in 2011.  Orders in the first half of 2012 totaled 10,652 robots valued at $747 million, increases of 20% in units and 29% in dollars over the same period last year.


Robots, Re-shoring and America’s Manufacturing Renaissance

08/02/12 — With Euro financial chaos raging on, China’s industrial engines slowing, and BRIC countries feeling a decided fiscal drag, the U.S., even with its economic rebound still limping along, is looking more and more like a manufacturing renaissance unfolding…ever so slowly. After a decade of globalization, during which the U.S. witnessed much of its manufacturing pride, prowess and jobs get exported worldwide—making such new-age business jargon as off-shoring, near-shoring and on-shoring become painfully too familiar—now comes yet another new term, only this time it is one filled not with more angst but rather with a sense of renewal: re-shoring. Yes, the…


Report to President Outlines Approaches to Spur Domestic Manufacturing Investment and Innovation

Robotic Industries Association Posted 07/19/2012

Final Recommendations of Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee
WASHINGTON, DC – A new report released today by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) urges efforts to build on progress to date on improving domestic manufacturing competitiveness and encouraging companies to invest in the United States. The PCAST report is a product of its Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee, whose membership includes leading manufacturing experts from industry and academia and is co-chaired by Andrew Liveris, President, Chairman, and CEO of Dow Chemical, and Susan Hockfield—who until this month was President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  “Right now we have a real opportunity to bring manufacturing back, and we need to seize it together.  That’s why I launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership – to make it easier for business, academia, and government to pull in the same direction and put more Americans back to work,” said President Obama. The President believes that a strong U.S. manufacturing sector is a key element to achieving a strong middle class and an economy built to last. The President believes that to grow the economy and create jobs, America needs to make things the rest of the world wants to buy. The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) was created by the President with the recognition that industry, academia, and government must work in partnership to revitalize our manufacturing sector. The new report, Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing, calls for sustaining the investments in advanced science and technology that produced America’s innovation economy in the first place; establishing a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes—a set of public-private partnerships that will together to create a nationwide “innovation ecosystem”; filling the skills gap in advanced manufacturing by upgrading community college workforce training programs and tapping into the talent pool of returning veterans; and encouraging investment through tax, regulatory, energy, and trade policies to level the global playing field for U.S. manufacturers.


Chinese Workers Face Competition From Robots

Mashable-Jul 17, 2012

Trade groups also haven’t seen the huge orders for industrial robots that and now predicts that China will surpass Japan as the world’s largest market in two


Foxconn May Add Up To One Million Robots To Its Workforce: Report

Huffington Post-Jul 18, 2012

China is expected to surpass Japan as the world’s largest robotics market in two last July to add one million industrial robots to its workforce over three years.

Reconsidering the Human Side of Automated Production

Automation World-Aug 7, 2012

Though the movement to re-shore manufacturing operations is gaining a great deal of attention, the reality is that these projects represent only a small portion of


Coming Soon to a Kindergarten Classroom: Robot Teachers

Slate Magazine (blog)-Aug 6, 2012

We’ve been promised for years that robots will soon move from factories into our everyday lives (maybe even white-collar offices), and yet so far, the closest


Robotic Fingertip More Sensitive than Human Touch

06/21/12 — Researchers at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering have created a robotic fingertip that is more sensitive to the touch than an actual human fingertip, an achievement which could greatly aid prostheses and advance artificial intelligence. Called BioTac, the tiny machine is a “new type of tactile sensor built to mimic the human fingertip, using a newly designed algorithm to make decisions about how to explore the outside world by imitating human strategies.” The sensor was only rarely confused by pairs of similar textures, between which humans could not differentiate at all. USC Professor of Biomedical Engineering Gerald Loeb, who is…


New technologies spread arrival of robots into our lives

USA TODAY – 1 hour ago

Robots, it seems, are everywhere, from microbots, which are tiny black dots, to bots that resemble bees and bats, to gigantic models.


Hon Hai moving toward automation at China plants

June 17, 2012

TAIPEI–Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (2317.TW) Chairman Terry Gou said Monday that, in a few years’ time, automation will replace all ‘monotonous and repetitive’ tasks performed at the company’s plants …


Rising wages should feed robot boom: experts

China Daily – July 5, 2012

The government should provide fiscal and taxation incentives to encourage increased production of industrial robots.


Automation is the new way

‎Khaleej Times – Jun 7, 2012

According to Nomura, 28 per cent of factory machines in China use numerical controls — one measure of automation. That may be far lower than Japan’s 83 per …


Revealed: 64 Drone Bases on American Soil

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, June 13, 2012

We like to think of the drone war as something far away, fought in the deserts of Yemen or the mountains of Afghanistan. But we now know it’s closer than we thought. There are 64 drone bases on American soil. That includes 12 locations housing Predator and Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, which can be armed.


My Word: Are robotic teachers the best teachers?

Orlando Sentinel – July 4, 2012

Based on standard end-of-course exams and state standardized tests, robotic teachers are often judged as the best or excellent teachers. Their students often …


May 2012

2011: The most successful year for industrial robots since 1961

2012: Continuing growth expected

Munich, 23 May 2012 – “2011 was the most successful year for industrial robots in 50 years. Since the first installation in 1961 more than 2.3 million were sold all over the world! ” stated Dr. Shinsuke Sakakibara, IFR President, on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 at the AUTOMATICA in Munich. “And the robotics industry is looking forward to a bright future.”


Canon Cameras Betting On Robot-only Production

Canon Inc. is moving toward fully automating digital camera production in an effort to cut costs — a key change being played out across Japan, a world leader in robotics. Canon, the world’s leader in digital cameras with a 20% market share, is building two automated plants in Oita Prefecture that are expected to be fully online by 2015. (May 14, 2012)


Detroit’s Wages Take on China’s


Televisions are being made in the U.S. again, but the effort says as much about marketing as it does about the global shift…


Robots To Drive Era Of New Possibilities

New advancements in robot development are designed for safe human-robot cooperation. AUTOMATICA 2012 demonstrates a trend that has major implications for the factory/warehouse work environment. (May 22, 2012)


Get Ready For The First Robot President

NPR – May 23, 2012

In Japan, for instance, the Fanuc Corp. operates a factory in which robots build other robots. It’s called “lights out” manufacturing because no lighting is needed


Army Readies Its Mammoth Spy Blimp for First Flight

David Axe, May 22, 2012

TAMPA, Florida — Sure, it took an extra year or so, but Northrop Grumman has finally penciled in the first flight of the giant surveillance airship it’s building for the U.S. Army. The Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle — a football-field-size, helium-filled robot blimp fitted with sensors and data-links — should take to the air over Lakehurst, New Jersey, the first or second week of June. K.C. Brown, Jr., Northrop’s director of Army programs, crows: ”We’re about to fly the thing!” It’s fair to say Northrop and the Army are crossing their collective fingers for the flight to actually take place, and smoothly. Giant airships promise huge benefits — namely, low cost and long flight times — but it’s proved incredibly hard to build and equip the massive blimps with military-grade sensors and communications … and fill them with helium.


Robots on the Farm

05/10/12 — Discovery—Commercial farms of the future may be staffed by robots that will identify, spray and pick individual pieces of produce from plants, even when their targets are grapes, peppers and apples that are as green as the leaves that surround them. As scientists in Israel and Europe get closer to…


Robotic Baristas Now Serving Coffee

05/03/12 — The first version of Briggo went online in November 2011 and it appears to be a hit with students and professors alike. Customers can order drinks off the web, a smart phone app, or at the kiosk itself. Even before ordering, the status of the queue and estimated time for…


Robots to Mine Near-Earth Asteroids

04/23/12 — Pasadena, CA—New report describes the results of a study sponsored by the Keck Institute for SpaceStudies (KISS) to investigate the feasibility of identifying, robotically capturing, and returning an entire Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) to the vicinity of the Earth by the middle of the next decade.  The KISS study was performed…

Jan. – April 2012

Man vs. Machine: Behind the Jobless Recovery

In no other U.S. recovery since WWII have companies been faster to boost spending on machines, while slower to add the people…


In U.S., a Cheaper Labor Pool

Trying to convince workers in Canada to accept a pay cut, Caterpillar is citing lower wages elsewhere. But instead of pointing…


Automation of Chinese factories takes off

ABC Online – Apr 21, 2012

LIAM COCHRANE: When it comes to industrial automation Japan is still king with about 300000 operational robots. But it’s China that’s booming.


A third industrial revolution: As manufacturing goes digital, it will change out of all recognition, says Paul Markillie. And some of the business of making things will return to rich countries

Apr 21st 2012, The Economist, Special report: Manufacturing and innovation

OUTSIDE THE SPRAWLING Frankfurt Messe, home of innumerable German trade fairs, stands the “Hammering Man”, a 21-metre kinetic statue that steadily raises and lowers its arm to bash a piece of metal with a hammer. Jonathan Borofsky, the artist who built it, says it is a celebration of the worker using his mind and hands to create the world we live in. That is a familiar story. But now the tools are changing in a number of remarkable ways that will transform the future of manufacturing.


2011: A Banner Year in the North American Robotics Industry

Mini Swamy, Feb. 6 2012

The momentum and sustained interest in automation in the manufacturing and automotive industries has set the ball rolling for North American robotic companies, which witnessed unprecedented sales of robots in 2011with the fourth quarter being the strongest quarter ever recorded by the RIA.