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SCI/TECH: With Japan aging, Toyota to staff factories with advanced robots

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posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 07:26 AM
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Toyota Motor company has announced plans to introduce and advanced robot in its 12 Japanese factories. The robots will work more efficiently as well as faster than the humans they replace. Toyota is taking this action to combat an aging Japanese workforce and to reduce its production cost to those comparable with China.
 



story.news.y ahoo.com
TOKYO (AFP) - Toyota Motor will introduce robots which can work as well or better than humans at all 12 of its factories in Japan to cut costs and deal with a looming labor shortage as the country ages, according to a press report.


The robots would be able to carry out multiple tasks simultaneously with their two arms, achieving efficiency unseen in human workers and matching the cheap wages of Chinese laborers, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.

Japan's top automaker currently uses 3,000 to 4,000 less advanced robots at its domestic factories but their use has been confined mostly to welding, painting and other potentially hazardous tasks, the economic daily said.

The new robots would also be used in finishing work, such as installation of seats and car interior fixtures, that have been too complex for conventional robots up to now, the daily said.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is no doubt the first of many industries that undergo this change. Robots are already in use in most auto plants, but are confined to tasks such as welding or painting. These robots will be capable of doing fine work such as finishing and the like. If this really works as intended, the economics of the world may shift yet again. Countries like China who enjoy an economic advantage due to its ultra low production costs would soon find themselves shut out of many markets.




posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 07:30 AM
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can you point people to the nearest welfare office please...

Bots working in place of humans.. what a way to go..



posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 07:40 AM
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Originally posted by ThichHeaded
can you point people to the nearest welfare office please...

Bots working in place of humans.. what a way to go..


It's been going that way for a century now. Its just this time we NEED them, as the Baby boomer bust is gonna happen and this is really the only thing we can do about it(well aside from having another Baby boom that is..) Already skilled trades all across the west are hurting for workers. Apprentiships that used to pay minumum wage now pay in excess of 13+ an hour(I even have a friend who got a welding apprentiship starting at 18 $cnd an hour
), as not enough people are getting into the trades versus people who are retiring. The average age of the worker is going up and that can be very bad if left unckecked...

[edit on 7-1-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 07:58 AM
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Interesting development, but just makes you wonder , in the extreme case robots do all the labour, how humans gonna make money to pay for the assembled products?

Ultimately we will be living on nano-welfare....?

[edit on 7-1-2005 by Countermeasures]



posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 08:00 AM
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What if in leiu of working you had a robot that went to work for you. You would get payed based on his work performance At least if you had a manufacturing job? Some jobs will always requre the flexibility of a human mind to perform. Fields like medical and the like will stay the same for some time



posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 08:10 AM
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This sounds a little like the storyline in I robot (and many other grrrreat sci-fi and manVSmachine novels). If we use machines to do all our dangerous, and menial work....what happens when we start building them so smart that they dont like being used as unpaid help???? Its possible, just look at the advances in computing power in the last 20yrs, I could see a situation developing where over the next 50 years almost every household in developed and wealthy nations will be using some form of robot to ease their burdens by doing menial household chores for them or something like that. Toyota and Honda have some of the most advanced robotics tech in the world (if u dont count the geeks at MiT), I could see them starting to develop cyborgs before long with synthetic skins that mimic our own.

What kinda robots do you think would be usefull or probable in the future?



posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 08:21 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Already skilled trades all across the west are hurting for workers. Apprentiships that used to pay minumum wage now pay in excess of 13+ an hour(I even have a friend who got a welding apprentiship starting at 18 $cnd an hour
), as not enough people are getting into the trades versus people who are retiring.


I don't know what part of "the west" you are from, but I live in Dayton Ohio, which is known to be one of the machining capitols of the USA. I began my apprenticeship about 13 years ago and only started at 6.50/hr. It took me 4 years just to make $14/hr. Where are these wonderful opportunities you are talking about?? If it is in California, then I am out; there cost of living is double what we have here.

Machine labor is a time saver for repetitive tasks, and what employers always told us is that it will make our jobs easier. This is hardly the case. Employers buy new machines to do existing work and then find more work for the employees, usually something they are over qualified for. Eventually, skilled trades will be out as machines will do the work, and the only jobs will be that of people who can monitor, program, and maintain these machines.



posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 08:37 AM
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I'm sure it's going to replace alot of jobs, but there still needs to be people who help keep these robots working in tip-top shape. I would think, that this would fit an aging population well as there may be a smaller workforce, but there would also be a smaller amount of work to be done. Also, there are other industried that will require human workers, like shipping these products as well as selling parts required to keep them maintained. Maybe, more-so than a work decline, it'll just be a movement of where the work is concentrated.

Just my thoughts...



posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by ben91069
[I don't know what part of "the west" you are from, but I live in Dayton Ohio,


Ben to give you an example, in the SF Bay Area, a Starbucks barrista makes about 13-15 an hour. They guy that cleans up at In-N-Out Burger makes 9+. Its all relative to the cost of living. In Palo Alto (25 miles South of SF) a 3 br 2 bath house 1500 sq feet runs you 1-1.4 million. Id wager that most part of Dayton are not that expensive.



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 03:08 AM
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Here in Britain manufacturing is in decline with the jobs going abroad. The same "effect" would happen whether it was robots or cheaper far east labour. However, we have effectively full employment in Britain with the unemployed being the unemployable. Our economy has changed from being manufacturing based to design and service based. So the robots can make the products whilst the humans design them and look after each other whilst using the products.

The people most worried from this development are those manufacturing based economies....like china, india etc. A curious turnaround.

Oh before I go. We have the same problem with traditional labour here as well. You can make more money by training to be a brickie than a having a degree from university ! Trying to get a decent plumber, joiner, electrician etc is becoming ever more difficult. Apprenticeships in these traditional skills has been replaced by a mass of degree based education....oops!



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 03:17 AM
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The robots would be able to carry out multiple tasks simultaneously with their two arms, achieving efficiency unseen in human workers and matching the cheap wages of Chinese laborers, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.


I think it's a great idea. It's better to keep the manufacturing plants here in the industrialized nations providing a lot of work for the construction of the plants, high-skilled technical jobs maintaining the robots, and a staff of people running the plant than to ship the whole thing over to China or India to utilize cheap labor and lose all of the jobs.



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 03:34 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
Ben to give you an example, in the SF Bay Area, a Starbucks barrista makes about 13-15 an hour. They guy that cleans up at In-N-Out Burger makes 9+. Its all relative to the cost of living. In Palo Alto (25 miles South of SF) a 3 br 2 bath house 1500 sq feet runs you 1-1.4 million. Id wager that most part of Dayton are not that expensive.


I wouldn't wager you, for you'd be right. Dayton is a sleaze hole and is a severe economic decline. It peaked in the 1960's with the advent of cold war technology and Wright Patterson AFB being a research center for new airforce technology. Also, General Motors was a prime mover for semi-skilled production jobs, but all that slowly went out the window. There is nothing to see in Dayton Ohio so far as anything great like it's historic past. The city is basically trying to make ends meet and making things better by spending money on a lot of worthless things like extravagent parks and monuments. We really need to bring back skilled jobs in the current tech sector.

By the way, I rent a house from my dad which cost him $16,000. The most anyone should spend in this city for a house is 45k. The outlying suburbs are nicer with houses maxing out at $140k.



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 03:34 AM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77

The robots would be able to carry out multiple tasks simultaneously with their two arms, achieving efficiency unseen in human workers and matching the cheap wages of Chinese laborers, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.


I think it's a great idea. It's better to keep the manufacturing plants here in the industrialized nations providing a lot of work for the construction of the plants, high-skilled technical jobs maintaining the robots, and a staff of people running the plant than to ship the whole thing over to China or India to utilize cheap labor and lose all of the jobs.


And plus it would add a lot of repair and maintance jobs as these bots cannot at this time fix themselves.

[edit on 10-1-2005 by sardion2000]



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