A combination of higher wages in Asian countries and a trend for bringing back manufacturing to the US could dismantle large parts of Asian economies, many of which depend on the textiles and clothes manufacturing trades for huge portion of their national income.
An interesting video report by the Financial Times points to this possible future, but adds that in practice, for now, “almost all of the world’s T-shirts and jeans by millions of cheap workers, mostly women, watching over sewing machines”.
The new vehicle looks rather unlike your typical farm vehicle, and is designed to straddle six strawberry beds as it moves along. It uses GPS navigation, LiDAR vision and carries 16 robots which will do the actual planting and picking of the strawberries.
Desperate to overcome Japan’s growing shortage of labour, mid-sized companies are planning to buy robots and other equipment to automate a wide range of tasks, including manufacturing, earthmoving and hotel room service.
According to a Bank of Japan survey, companies with share capital of 100 million yen to 1 billion yen plan to boost investment in the fiscal year that started in April by 17.5 percent, the highest level on record.
It is unclear how much of that is being spent on automation but companies selling such equipment say their order books are growing and the Japanese government says it sees a larger proportion of investment being dedicated to increasing efficiency. Revenue at many of Japan’s robot makers also rose in the January-March period for the first time in several quarters. Continue reading Japan turning to robots because there’s not enough humans around
More and more companies in the textiles, clothing and footwear business are turning to advanced manufacturing technologies – robotic sewing machines and connected systems – to reduce the number of humans in their factories, along with the financial and social costs of employing them.
Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship releases most comprehensive report to date assessing how automation will impact future employment in Canada
Automation is transforming traditional occupations, changing the day-to-day tasks of Canadians, and potentially creating new jobs, states new research from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) at Ryerson University.
The UK Labour Party is urging the government to turn away from “the gods of the free market” and instead roll out the red carpet to our new robot overlords.
Or at least that’s what could be inferred from an opinion piece written by the Labour Party’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, who made it clear that he favours mechatronics over abstract notions of free markets.
“A robot driving a lorry may sound daunting, just as a horseless carriage did in 1890. But a driverless car doesn’t get tired, or drink alcohol, or have blind spots,” writes Watson in praise of the machines.
Watson calls for a royal commission into the issue of robotics and automation in the UK, claiming that the chancellor, George Osborne, is leaving to fate to decide whether technological change becomes “out ally not our foe”.