robot recap: automation, job creation and robotic coordination

in rethinking robotics, trending now by Jeff Green

Let’s get right to it. In case you missed them, here’s a replay of a few recent and noteworthy articles from around the web about robots, automation and the workforce of the future.

Cadie Thompson of Business Insider writes: “The next generation of robots may not rob us of our jobs after all. In fact, they may actually help us become better at our work.” We’re with you, Cadie. That’s precisely what we’re talking about. Our own Jim Lawton adds, “You won’t program them, you will show them what to do. You don’t interact with a computer or any kind of any other device. You are interacting with the robot directly.”

In a recent piece by Erin Carson on ZDNet about automation’s impact on the jobs market, Forrester analyst JP Gownder had this to say. “Robots aren’t so much stealing our jobs as they are becoming a part of our work environment. And so no matter what your skill level is, there may be opportunities for you to retrain into something that works with the robots rather than being replaced by the robots.” And that’s exactly what we’re seeing from customers integrating collaborative robots into their factories of the future. Employees are moving away from dull, repetitive jobs, on to more value added work.

Across the Charles River in Cambridge comes a different kind of human/robot collaboration. Enter HERMES, a disaster response robot from MIT.  “Imagine that Cheetah could stand on two legs and use its front legs like arms, and you’ve got HERMES.” To make that possible, the tele-operated robot relies on the human for balance. Evan Ackerman of IEEE Spectrum explains, “If the robot starts to tip, the motors in the BFI (Balance Feedback Interface) will start to push you over in the same direction. You’ll naturally try to keep yourself upright, providing feedback that should help keep the robot upright as well.” Watch HERMES below and get the full story from Evan here.

For more robotics news, interviews and insights see what else is making headlines here in the Rethink Robotics blog.


About the Author

Jeff Green

I'm Jeff Green, senior content and social media strategist at Rethink Robotics. When I'm not socializing Sawyer and Baxter, our smart, collaborative robots, I'm usually caught up in the home tornado, also known as my three kids. Love them, my wife, old-school Chinese food, movies, and of course game-changing technology.

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