Plug and Play (Un)employment

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In the following clip by Google-owned Boston Dynamics you will see a 5’9″, 180lbs humanoid robot called Atlas engaged in various human activities, such as walking, picking itself up, opening doors, and carrying heavy loads.

The robot in question, clearly an old prototype (which prompted many to wonder just how far advanced is the underlying technology now if Google has no industrial espionage concerns with this particular specimen) was not only this close from putting millions of workers in menial, repetitive occupations out of a job, but could easily serve as a solider in any army that has a “lower” standard of acceptance.

This is how Boston Dynamics intros the disturbing video:

A new version of Atlas, designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings. It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects. This version of Atlas is about 5′ 9″ tall (about a head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs 180 lbs.

In other words the Atlas is a cheaper, faster, more efficient, and never complaining version of you, and will soon come in “battalion” and “mechanized infantry” versions.

Plug-and-play employees

The age of plug-and-play employees is approaching. On a long enough time line, someone ends up building a robot.

For companies such as Walmart, Google, FoxxConn, KFC,  Starbucks), robotics have been the clear go-to decision when one wishes to abolish those pesky employees always looking for timeoff and the proverbial “fair treatment”.

But now we bring you the newest member of the robotics club, none other than your every other weekend series X-whatever funding round superstar Uber!

Uber now has a robotic security guard patrolling the lot used to park cars awaiting inspection in the Mission Bay area of San Francisco. Knightscope designed and manufactured the device, which is known as K5.  Here is the very exciting company demo…

As Fusion reports, the robot can see 360 degrees, possesses a thermal sensor within its camera, and able to decipher the character of the surrounding environment (weather, distance, sounds, facial recognition). 

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