Tag Archives: automation

Raspberry picking robot

The Guardian has an interesting article on a robot designed to pick raspberries – and potentially also other crops as well. This robot is able to about 25,000 berries a day, whereas a human picker can only do 15,000. It took about 700,000 Pound to develop this machine and it is expected it will come into production next year.

Farm automation is a rapidly developing field and one that is of great importance for future space settlements as we discussed earlier on this site.

Spacers and robots #2

At Geek.com there is an interesting article about a robot developed by Japanese scientists that could replace construction workers. As pointed out in the article the main motivation behind this HRP-5P is to deal with the country’s aging and declining population.

There are several reasons why this kind of robots are of great importance for space settlements. Building space habitats, mining of resources and so on, will require a lot of work. Through the use of robots more labor will be available and this will allow for much faster space development – especially if such robots can be assembled in space, which will further reduce launch costs.

Also, according to another article on Geek.com, a long-term exposure to cosmic radiation could lead to digestive problems. Robots do not suffer from radiation the same way as humans do, hence they could start building free space habitats while science works to devise methods to protect humans against cosmic rays.

Agricultural robots

In regard with agriculture space settlements will have to deal with two issues. First of all, an independent food supply is essential for the success of any civilization. Secondly, during the early stages of the humanization of space there a shortage of labor will be quite likely. Since we cannot dispense with agriculture, at least not in the long run – as the alternative would be very expensive – space settlers will need to embrace agricultural robots full heartedly. Continue reading Agricultural robots

Automated assembly

Researcher in Singapore have succeeded in building a robot, which are able to assemble an IKEA chair. Though the robots are still a bit slower than a human being, this kind of technology is interesting.

As many countries are facing an aging population, automation will be necessary to avoid a labor shortage. Also space settlements will benefit from this technology, as it will allow them to achieve economic independence by reducing the need to import manufactured goods.

Robots or sweatshops?

In The Guardian a good opinion piece:

Worry less about robots and more about sweatshops

Not automation per se is a threat to workers, but exploitation of workers is the important issue at stake.

One side note: the author laments the decreased membership of trade unions. However, in the long run only worker cooperatives could end the exploitation of workers. It’s quite pity that those who claim to stand up for worker rights continue to fail to support the cooperative movement.