Money Robots ride to the rescue where workers can't be found

22:41  16 april  2018
22:41  16 april  2018 Source:   The New York Times

Are robots people? Europe isn't sure...

  Are robots people? Europe isn't sure... If a Terminator pours coffee in your lap, who's to blame? The Terminator or Skynet? Who the hell knows at this point.Tricky question, and one that European lawmakers are currently wrestling with right now in the year 2018.

The term that keeps coming up is 'creepy.' People find the robots that are supposed to be helping them creepy." The media component emerged following a 2005 mine accident--not involving rescue robots --but where trapped miners asked if workers could lower them an MP3 player.

Robin Murphy of the Texas A&M Center for Robot -Assisted Search and Rescue gave a Ted Talk at TEDWomen 2015 about robots that help with disasters. "You're talking about a situation where you can ' t fit a person or a dog. And it's on fire."

PRAGUE — When Zbynek Frolik needed new employees to handle surging orders at his cavernous factories in central Bohemia, he fanned advertisements across the Czech Republic. But in a prosperous economy where nearly everyone had work, there were few takers.

Irrigation robots could help grow wine grapes in California

  Irrigation robots could help grow wine grapes in California The lack of water and workers means winemakers could rely on machines.The researchers have been working to advance and refine the system since 2016, and RAPID is actually the second version of the project. In a new report, IEEE talks about where the researchers are with it, a bit over a year after it received a $1 million grant from the Department of Agriculture. The publication says team leader and UC professor Stefano Carpin is currently testing the system using a unmanned ground vehicle, but that he intends to build a specialized machine for it.

Perhaps the biggest problem right now is finding funding. Roboticists have struggled to fund search and rescue work , even as millions of dollars go toward the U.S. military's drones or the legions of robot factory workers around the world.

The term that keeps coming up is 'creepy.' People find the robots that are supposed to be helping them creepy." The media component emerged following a 2005 mine accident--not involving rescue robots -- where trapped miners asked if workers could lower them an MP3 player.

Raising wages didn’t help. Nor did offers to subsidize housing.

So he turned to the robots.

“We can’t find enough humans,” said Mr. Frolik, whose company, Linet, makes state-of-the art hospital beds sold in over 100 countries. “We’re trying to replace people with machines wherever we can.”

Such talk usually conjures visions of a future where employees are no longer needed. In many major economies, companies are experimenting with replacing factory workers, truck drivers and even lawyers with artificial intelligence, raising the specter of a mass displacement of jobs.

But in Eastern Europe, robots are being enlisted as the solution for a shortage of workers. Often they are helping to create new types of jobs as businesses in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland try to stay agile and competitive. Growth in these countries, which became low-cost manufacturing hubs for Europe after the fall of Communism, has averaged 5 percent in recent years, buoyed by the global recovery.

Missing West Kelowna, B.C. senior found dead

  Missing West Kelowna, B.C. senior found dead Lawrence Hamilton, 72, was last seen visiting a seniors care home in West Kelowna in March.Lawrence Hamilton, 72, was reported missing after visiting a seniors care home in West Kelowna, B.C., on March 25.

Fast-learning robots could be useful for any situation in which machines need to function for extended periods of time with minimal supervision, such as natural disaster recon and rescue — environments where rescue workers can ' t afford to babysit their machines.

But they are worthless if the victim finds them scary, bossy, out-of-control—or just plain creepy. " Robots don' t make eye contact. The media component emerged following a 2005 mine accident—not involving rescue robots —but where trapped miners asked if workers could lower

Sign up for the Morning Briefing newsletter

Few are riding higher than the Czech Republic, where plants roll out cars for the likes of Toyota and consumer electronics for Dell, while smaller companies produce specialty goods to sell around the world. A roaring economy has slashed the jobless rate to just 2.4 percent, the lowest in the European Union.

The dearth of manpower, however, has limited the ability of Czech companies to expand. Nearly a third of them have started to turn away orders, according to the Czech Confederation of Industry, a trade group.

“It’s becoming a brake on growth,” said Jaroslav Hanak, the organization’s president. “If businesses don’t increase robotization and artificial intelligence, they’ll disappear.”

Eastern Europe’s factories are already well automated. New robot installations in the Czech Republic rose 40 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Today there are around 101 robots for every 10,000 workers. And more machines are coming as companies try to improve productivity, tilting them toward levels in countries like Germany, which averages 309 robots per 10,000 workers, the most in Europe.

Search called off for missing Nunavut hunter believed drowned

  Search called off for missing Nunavut hunter believed drowned Fast currents and water temperatures have led to RCMP calling off a recovery search for a hunter from Clyde River who fell through the ice Monday while polar bear hunting. Iqaluit RCMP told CBC on Wednesday that the search was called off Tuesday afternoon due to water temperature and fast currents in the area. Police said in a press release Tuesday that the man was believed to have drowned.

What can search-and- rescue robots do besides bomb disposal? How did emergency workers use robots after the Fukushima nuclear disaster? The Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using

But I would feel bad about asking my co- workers to rescue the robot anytime it lost a Wi-Fi connection. He gave an example where a school might need the services of a speech pathologist, but is having trouble finding one because the school is located in a rural area, or they can ’ t afford to

At Elko EP, which makes industrial timers for companies like General Electric, 70 percent of production is automated, and the company is aiming to be almost fully robotized in a few years. In a sleek white corner of the factory, robots have taken over routine manufacturing tasks. Jiri Konecny, the company’s chief executive, moved factory floor workers to more complex roles, and focused hundreds of other employees on research and development.

“If we didn’t invest early in automation, we’d be dead by now,” he said.

For the Czech Republic and its neighbors, the calculus is one of survival. A new generation of robots is needed not just to confront the labor squeeze, but also to increase flexibility and output as consumers demand a wider range of products.

On a recent afternoon in Brno, the nation’s second-largest city, hundreds of suppliers showed off articulated robots, robotic sensors and other wares in a hall as big as an airport at Amper, an automation convention. Buyers crowded around “smart” machines that tested car headlights or interacted with humans in shared work spaces.

Fire crews discover man’s body while battling northeast Edmonton blaze

  Fire crews discover man’s body while battling northeast Edmonton blaze Fire crews discover man’s body while battling northeast Edmonton blazePolice are now investigating after a man was found dead inside a northeast Edmonton townhouse, where fire crews were called to battle a blaze on Wednesday morning.

And during the recent Ebola pandemic, she explored whether robots could help protect health workers from contagion in field She found this "visual common ground" between the experts and the operator helped significantly. Look for the robots , because robots are coming to the rescue ."

This hub will take you through some discussion of robots , some of the robots we could expect to see in the near future - and detail some examples of where we need to be careful with robots . Learn about Robot Pets, Rescue Robots , Robot Prosthetics, Caregiver & Personal Robots

Many are doing brisk business as companies around Eastern Europe accelerate an automation drive. At Rittal, a maker of switch gears and control cabinets for industrial robots, orders rose 15 percent last year and have jumped 25 percent since January.

“Companies aren’t able to produce more, so their competitiveness is falling,” said Jaromir Zeleny, Rittal’s managing director. “They don’t want to be so dependent on people.”

Cost is another factor. Eastern Europe became a manufacturing powerhouse by luring multinationals with low wages. That advantage is ebbing, though. Average monthly pay in the Czech Republic rose 8 percent last year to about 1,160 euros, or about $1,400. Although one-third the average in Germany, they are expected to keep climbing.

Businesses say letting in more foreign workers would help. But the conservative government has pledged to limit immigration, and recently set strict caps on foreign work visas.

There are longer-term trends at play, as well. Families aren’t having children fast enough to replace people heading into retirement. Automation, one argument goes, could compensate. Skoda, the nation’s biggest automaker, said last month that it would “significantly accelerate” automation to face demographic changes and wage pressures.

Japanese companies see big things in small-scale industrial robots

  Japanese companies see big things in small-scale industrial robots As workforces age in Japan and elsewhere, collaborative robots - or "cobots" - are seen as a key way to help keep all types of assembly lines moving without replacing humans. Japan's Fanuc and Yaskawa Electric, two of the world's largest robot manufacturers, didn't see the shift coming. Now they are trying to catch up."We didn't expect large manufacturers would want to use such robots, because those robots can lift only a light weight and have limited capabilities," said Kazuo Hariki, an executive director at Fanuc.

Our job is to empower the responders with rescue robots that are easy to use and effective. Rescue robots don’t replace people or dogs. They go to places where people or dogs can ’ t go and assist responders in innovative ways.”

Fast-learning robots could be useful for any situation in which machines need to function for extended periods of time with minimal supervision, such as natural disaster recon and rescue —environments where rescue workers can ’ t afford to babysit their machines.

“A labor shortage will continue for years,” said Bohdan Dovhanic, a Prague-based business director at Schneider Electric, a French industrial company. “We must be prepared to find more human employees, or find a way to substitute for them.”

Whether robots will help or threaten human livelihood has sparked a fierce debate in a country that coined the term. The word “robot,” derived from the Slavonic term “rabota,” meaning arduous work, first appeared in a 1920 Czech play about machines created to perform repetitive factory tasks. The robots cooperate at first, but eventually take over.

The risk, critics say, is that when future recessions hit, workers will suffer. “You won’t switch off the robots and bring back people,” said Michal Pechoucek, head of the Artificial Intelligence Center at the Czech Technical University in Prague.

Czech unions echo those warnings. “Unless business leaders, politicians and trade unions react well in advance and responsibly to the upcoming industrial revolution,” said Josef Stredula, president of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, “even more jobs may be under threat.”

For now, companies here insist that robotization will create new work.

At Linet, the hospital bed manufacturer, most welding, cutting, painting and molding functions were automated a decade ago. Thirty industrial robots do the work of up to 200 people. But that doesn’t offset the need for humans, who program machines and perform complex custom work on the assembly line that robots can’t do.

Man found dead during Edmonton house fire had been killed

  Man found dead during Edmonton house fire had been killed The man found dead inside a northeast Edmonton townhome by firefighters earlier this week had been killed and his death is being investigated as a homicide. READ MORE: Fire crews discover man’s body while battling northeast Edmonton blazeEdmonton Fire Rescue called police at around 9 a.m. Wednesday to the townhouse near 113 Avenue and 29 Street in the Rundle Heights area, after firefighters found Auger's body inside one of the units.Police said they released Auger's name because it serves an investigative purpose. They couldn't yet say if he lived in the townhome.

Robots to the rescue ! What Will Robotics and Automation Mean for Food System Workers ? | FoodTank. - - - find more jobs. Are you planning to crowdfund your robot startup? Need help spreading the word?

Robots As Rescuers Every year, the DARPA challenge mobilizes university-affiliated teams (both with funding and without) to come up with ways to program robots to do the things that human first responders, like firefighters and The Identity of Q Anon has been Found - #Tyler the AI Is Q Anon.

Like other employers, Mr. Frolik was caught off guard when joblessness fell swiftly. Virtually every part of the Czech economy has been affected. In the industrial countryside north of the capital where his factories are, unemployment is below 2 percent. And in Prague, even the trams have run less frequently this year for want of drivers.

Mr. Frolik started Linet after the Czech Republic’s 1989 Velvet Revolution with a $10,000 investment in an old cow barn. Today, Linet is one of the world’s biggest hospital bed makers, with 900 employees making 500 beds a day. Its devices monitor and collect data on patient health, and can cost as much as a BMW. A Linet bed, Mr. Frolik said with a chuckle, even appeared in an episode of the Netflix show “House of Cards” in which Kevin Spacey’s character, President Frank Underwood, was recovering from an assassination attempt.

To keep up with a surge in orders driven by the global recovery, he needs more people. He raised wages 12 percent last year and tried to poach employees from other factories, but it wasn’t enough, and he didn’t have the production capacity to bid on major government contracts.

“We could be growing much more,” Mr. Frolik said.

So he put in an €8 million order last month for superfast robotic lasers and plastic molding machines to replace older models. The new devices will let him move six workers to the custom assembly line. But with other Czech companies also scrambling to upgrade, he’ll have to wait for delivery of the machines.

Mr. Frolik stopped before a hulking industrial laser that would eventually be replaced by a faster, smarter machine. The two employees operating it would be educated for other work at the factory inside the old cow barn, which has been converted into a training center.

“We’ll still need people,” Mr. Frolik said. “But robots are more reliable.”

Hana de Goeij contributed reporting.

London police training exercise paused for baby owl rescue .
London police training exercise paused for baby owl rescueA London police training exercise turned into a bird rescue after a K9 officer found a baby owl that had fallen from its nest.

Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/money/-70927-robots-ride-to-the-rescue-where-workers-cant-be-found/

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!