Foxconn, the Taiwan-based factory firm that makes nearly half the world’s electronics, aims to replace 1 million of its workers with robots within in the next three years, the company announced over the weekend.
Frida the two-armed robot would like to work with you. She wants you to know she would make a great assistant, with her dextrous arms and headless torso, incapable of inane small talk. She will not hurt you, she promises. But she might make you obsolete.
A new cheerful factory robot aims to keep European industry competitive by working alongside humans, smiling when it accomplishes a task or when its bosses ensure it stays busy. The pi4_workerbot, developed at Fraunhofer labs, has fingertip sensitivity — it completes the perennially difficult robot task of grasping an egg — and a variety of facial expressions.
One squat multitasking robot can build semiconductors for solar cells on six-inch-square plates of glass, plastic or flexible metals in just over half an hour. Six of these tireless mechanical workers, chugging away at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado, will allow private companies to come rapidly prototype and test their newest formulas for creating solar cells.
Pull those Benjamins out from under the mattress and get ready to bid on your very own six-axis robot arm. A Chrysler plant near the University of Delaware has been liquidated and is up for auction, including about 200 down-to-Earth, maker-fearing robots.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.