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Meet the Cobots: Humans and Robots Together on the Factory Floor

National Geographic

Humans might take heart from the recent decision by Mercedes-Benz to replace robots with humans on some lines. The machines were just not agile enough to keep pace with the growing demand for customized products while we humans can "reprogram" ourselves in a fraction of a second. "We're moving away from trying to maximize automation, with people taking a bigger part in industrial processes again," says Markus Schaefer, head of production planning at the automaker. "When we have people and machines cooperate, such as a person guiding a part-automatic robot, we're much more flexible and can produce many more products on one production line. The variety is too much to take on for the machines."


Towards human-machine harmony in manufacturing: OMRON Adept Technologies launches AI-equipped Mobile Robot LD. New models offer flexible, easily programmable and automated transportation 4-Traders

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CEO: Yoshihito Yamada) announced that it will release two variations of the Mobile Robot LD Platform, developed for indoor use by its U.S. subsidiary Omron Adept Technologies (hereafter: OAT), simultaneously in 33 countries on January 20, 2017 as a step towards realizing harmony between humans and machines in the field of manufacturing. The Mobile Robot LD is a carrier robot equipped with OAT's proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which allows it to transport materials to a target location while calculating the optimal route and avoiding humans and obstacles. The robots are ideally suited for a wide range of indoor environments, including facilities manufacturing car parts, electronics, foods and pharmaceuticals, as well as warehouses and research facilities. The January release will include two variations; a customizable OEM type and an all-in-one cart transporter type with an attached cart. The OEM type allows the user to optimize the robot for the intended usage environment by attaching a custom cabinet or conveyor.


Are You Completely Underestimating AI? – The Startup – Medium

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The industrial revolution allowed us to build products at faster rates we had ever seen, and allowed us to scale up our creations to sizes never possible before. Just like machines whose strength is hundreds, if not thousands of times stronger than us, AI's intelligence will be hundreds, if not thousands of times smarter than us. Physical problems like will be solved thousands of times faster than humans could. Machines removed the physical constraints of humans and freed us to pursue more intellectual paths like the information industry, and AI will remove our mental constraints.


Are You Completely Underestimating AI? – The Startup – Medium

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Put yourselves in the shoes of an early 17th century human. The industry then was extremely slow -- workers had to craft items from hand, and mass production didn't exist. What changed between the 17th century and today is machines. The industrial revolution allowed us to build products at faster rates we had ever seen, and allowed us to scale up our creations to sizes never possible before. Sky-scrapers, massive ships of steel, cars, and the furniture in your home, and the systems derived from them such as the shipping industry, transport across hundreds of kilometres in a day in cars, and the buildings you have grown accustomed to seeing daily are all possible because of the industrial revolution.


Opinion: Why automation needn't exterminate your job

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Up to 20 million manufacturing jobs around the world could be done by robots over the next decade, according to recent analysis. Oxford Economics' report seems to back up the fear that advances in automation and artificial intelligence on the factory floor are a threat to the security of traditional manufacturing jobs. But what does a robot in the workplace really mean? What could the impact be on Scotland's manufacturing and engineering companies, and what can they do to develop their business models and workforce to prepare for change? In industry, the term "robots" is used to describe everything from "pick and place" machines and robotic welders, to software applications (bots) that can perform an automated task such as placing an order with a supplier when stocks run low.