Posts Tagged ‘automation’

Walmart To Replace Janitors With Robots

December 11, 2018

Walmart To Replace Janitors With Robots

“The world’s largest retailer is rolling out 360 autonomous floor-scrubbing robots in some of its stores in the U.S. by the end of the January, it said in a joint statement with Brain Corp., which makes the machines. The autonomous janitors can clean floors on their own even when customers are around, according to the San Diego-based startup.”

–“Robot Janitors Are Coming to Mop Floors at a Walmart Near You,” Pavel Alpeyev, Bloomberg

That means Walmart will retrain its janitors as cashiers and open more checkout lines, right? Ha.

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Robot-Made Pizza

November 29, 2018

Robot-Made Pizza

“Zume, the robotic pizza maker, is now valued at more than US $2 billion, thanks to its latest round of investment. According to The Wall Street Journal, this latest infusion of funds—$375 million—came entirely from SoftBank; and the Japanese conglomerate apparently has another $375 million at the ready should Zume need it. The valuation, in Silicon Valley terms, makes the new company a unicorn, one of the rare breed of startups thought to be worth over $1 billion.

This is just wrong. Because it’s just not good pizza.”

— “Zume, the Robotic Pizza Company, Makes Pies Only a Robot Could Love,” Tekla S. Perry, IEEE Spectrum

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Merle Hazard sings of self-driving trucks.

October 25, 2018

A trucking song for the information age, written by Tom Rutledge and economist Jon Shayne, performed by Merle Hazard (“moral hazard” meets Merle Haggard, get it?). Ol’ Merle is accompanied by Trey Hensley and Rob Ickes (guitar and dobro), Alison Brown (banjo), Andrea Zonn (backing vocals), and Larry Atamanuik (drums).

Animation by Matt Emigh of NPT;  illustrations by Susan Eaddy. Music produced by Alison Brown.

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Self-Driving Pizza

June 29, 2018

Self-Driving Pizza

Self-driving Domino’s Pizza vehicles now roam the streets of Miami:

“Consumers will soon be able to opt to order their pies, groceries, and on-demand rides to be conveyed via robot (with backup drivers behind the wheel in case of emergency). The county, meanwhile, hopes that the experiment can be a learning opportunity and a signal to other self-driving technology leaders.

‘We want to learn from Ford what it is we need to do to get ready for these vehicles, so that when AVs become a reality, fully, we’ll be one of the first communities to get them,’ said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Giménez. ‘We want to let the world know that Miami is ready to be a testbed.’”

— “Self-Driving Pizza Just Hit Miami,” Laura Bliss, CityLab

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Top image (yes, it’s a Bentley) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Self-Driving Car Trap

June 7, 2018

Autonomous Trap 001, a work-in-progress by James Bridleh/t:  Jason Kottke

Related:

“Most people expect driverless cars to become common, and they worry about it,” Ashley Halsey III, Washington Post

Update:

“Small stickers on the ground trick Tesla autopilot into steering into opposing traffic lane,” Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

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Pas de Deux

March 4, 2018

Taiwanese engineer Huang Yi dances with a Kuka robotic arm. Choreography and programming: Huang Yi. Music: Joshua Roman.

Huang Yi website

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Rights for Robots! Maybe.

September 12, 2017

When machines become conscious, will we need to grant them rights? A video by  by Kurzgesagt (German for “in a nutshell”).
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Job Deletion: A Feature, Not a Bug?

September 4, 2017

Job Deletion: A Feature, Not a Bug?

Happy Labor Day.

“We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not yet have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come – namely, technological unemployment. This means unemployment due to our discovery of means of economising the use of labour outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labour.” — John Maynard Keynes, 1930

“Today we’re living in those years to come, and it’s hard to go a week without some story about how all the jobs will soon belong to artificial intelligence or machine learning or however else we’re describing the automatons. Keynes was right to see it coming, but he didn’t exactly nail the implications.” — Malcolm Harris, 2017

More:

“A Jobless Future Everyone Can Love,” Malcolm Harris, Pacific Standard

“AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs,” Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Pieria

“Jobs aren’t the solution to America’s problems—they’re the cause,” James Livingston, Quartz

“A robot tax rises from American center of tech industry,” Janie Har, Associated Press

“What the Industrial Revolution really tells us about the future of automation and work,” Moshe Y. Vardi, The Conversation

“Work In The Digital Society,” Social Europe

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Image (“John Maynard Keynes Blogging, after Duncan Grant”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Snooker-Playing Robot

November 27, 2016

Robots won’t just take your job, they’ll beat you at billiards. This ABB robot cheats at snooker, then does a victory dance. Twice.

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German Robot Grills Sausage

August 2, 2016

German Robot Grills Sausage
German engineers have built a robot that grills brätwurst because of course they would. The FZI Research Center for IT at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology hooked a robotic arm to a laptop to create BratWurst Bot, which grills, flips, and plates sausages.
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