A Round Up of Robots Stealing Our Jerbs


#1

2018

Seems like a good time to have a place to document and/or discuss where robots are replacing a human work force and the issues surrounding the impending takeover of machines.


#2

Quisling here (engineer in manufacturing). I can’t speak for service industries or even manufacturing as a whole. While some processes and industries are moving towards lights-out manufacturing it will be a gradual transition but not always a necessary one. I work for a manufacturer of HVAC components for automotive, heavy truck and construction/ag equipment. Some of our processes are automated (CNC lathes, automatic saws) where a order and material is input and the machine spits out the ordered quantity of items. Much of our processes however are reliant on human labor.

Profit margins in our niche are pretty slim, so our greatest costs are quality issues and man hours. Our customers demand stricter and stricter quality levels, so scrapped parts hurt. Typically we need to have fewer than 500PPM (parts per million) bad parts per month reach the customer. However, where in automotive you might make a couple dozen parts with a volume in the hundreds of thousands, we have a few thousand different part numbers with volumes ranging from a couple dozen a year to twenty thousand or so. This means if the customer only orders say 300 of a part a year but five are bad your PPM is 16667 for that part. Repeat that for a few different part numbers for a few months and they send their hatchet man.

The additional layer to this is we’re on the hook for the material and manhours for the scrapped parts, and we still need to make the replacements, which frequently need shipped overnight (again out of our pocket) to prevent a line down situation for the customer, as most practice Just In Time supply. (JIT for the layman is receiving just enough parts just before you need them rather than stock a large warehouse).

So, with us meatbag being imperfect beings and prone to mistakes, bad judgement or the like, we try to give our assembly techs the tools, processes or automation to cut down on scrap, improve productivity, and increase capacity. Our company at least isn’t decreasing workforce, but shares the savings with raises and bonuses for everybody on the floor.

Not all of us are soulless corporate automatons, some of us just build them.


#3

The moment when the burger chain finds out that it doesn’t really own its robots, but is leasing the software will be delicious.


#4

“Do the Right Thing” or “Don’t be Evil” Do either apply?

“Google has partnered with the United States Department of Defense to help the agency develop artificial intelligence for analyzing drone footage, a move that set off a firestorm among employees of the technology giant when they learned of Google’s involvement.”

Using Ai to help automate war fighting drones analyze imagery seems rather un Google.


#5

But if you think about it and squint at it real hard, they’re actually saving innocent lives by making sure the drones hit the evil guys, instead of the not evil ones. /s


#6

You might have to squint so hard your eyes are completely closed!

(but be sure to open them back up for that 32 hour code sprint)


#7

#8

Taxi drivers and pilots wake up!

"Kitty Hawk’s new Cora video claims the aircraft is “self-piloting” so, again, there’s no need for a pilot’s license. It also says the firm is working with the New Zealand government on the rollout of a “commercial air taxi service.”


#9

“Machines are creating more wealth, but workers are not getting their usual cut of the pie,”

“Automation is redistributing income from workers to owners,”


#10


Just temporary. It sounds like Flippy is one of those difficult employees.

“When you’re in the back, working with people, you talk to each other. With Flippy, you kind of need to work around his schedule. Choreographing the movements of what you do, when and how you do it.”


#11

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