.. would be too troublesome and economically unjustifiable. ? Firms would not recognize the need to automate unless their competition did. They were not even getting any good publicity from their successful installations, since General Motors was down playing everything because it feared labor opposition. Something had to be done, and soon before the company was forced to fold. Engelberger commissioned a consulting firm to determine a way to promote the UNIMATE. The solution was actually quite simple; it was a matter of economics.
The robot was priced to high; it was cheaper to hire more employees than it was to automate. When the price was reduced, sales jumped six fold. Which puts the right spin on industrial robots. Nobody puts robots to work because they want to make life easier for the employee. They put it to work for economic savings.
The real explosion of industrial robots came because of Japan. The institutional barriers that existed in the States did not matter in Japan. The Japanese were implementers; they went ahead and used technology. Back in the states industrial robots continued to gain in popularity in the manufacturing process, but it was a slow ride. Then the industry started to change; the automotive industry was feeling the pressure of Japanese competition.
General Motors developed an assembly system that robot arms, conveyor belts, and parts sorters. The heart of the system was the robotic arm, which was dubbed the PUMA , programmable universal machine for assembly. Sales requests for the robot arm went through the roof, the age of the industrial robot was here. THE NEW INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION Anything that is manufactured is manipulated. Every part is manipulated while it is made.
Every part is manipulated while is assembled. A part is manipulated when it is delivered from a plant. Everything is manipulated George C. Devol, Jr. (interview, 3/11/83) The introduction of the robot now allows the advantages of the industrial revolution to be fully realized. The following are some of the advantages: ? The use of robots will prevent humans from being forced to function like robots. ? Robots being incapable of weariness and resentment can labor indefinitely, not only producing more objects, but also ensuring that there will little or no variation in product quality and safety.
? Special features can be added to products without changing the production run. Robots can do the heavy, dangerous, and tedious work with capacity to seem as though they can make decisions and show judgement. The robots of the new industrial revolution first made their make in the automotive industry. In the early 80s 40 percent of the robots in use were in American and Japanese automotive factories. Images of one armed machines lifting automobile frames and turning them for welding robots was a main feature on news and documentaries.
All this started to change, as computers became more and more powerful. As the computer grew more intelligent the robots were able to do more and more tasks. The robot today is a main component in almost all manufacturing processes. The following charts show the sales of robots in United States: Year # of robots $US 1984 5800 $480M 1985 6200 $380M 1986 5400 $320M 1987 3800 $300M 1988 4000 $325M 1989 4500 $510M 1990 5000 $510M 1991 4000 $410M 1992 5250 $500M 1993 6800 $630M But, even though demand is surging and the U.S. is the world’s second largest robotics user with some 53,000 systems, the Japanese have more than seven times as many robots in use.
The robot industry is booming with companies producing robots to work in area such as: ? Medicine – heart bypass surgery, surgical robots work side-by-side with people ? Pork production – Increasing market pressures in the meat sector have been the major motivation for the use of automation. The key drivers leading to the use of robotics have been the need to improve work conditions, control the processes and increase yield, while maintaining hygiene standards. Employers in this industry are also faced with a shortage of skilled labor and the increasing demand to reduce price while improving quality and safety in the plant. ? Security systems – robots that routinely patrol night after night providing asset protection, situation assessment, and environmental monitoring. ? Military – patrol warehouses where high-value, high-risk materiel is stored. ? Mobil robots Used for mapping rough terrain and hunting for land mines and many more uses.
ROBOTS OF THE FUTURE Fifty years, tops, until the robots succeed us, says Hans Moravec, director of Carnegie Mellon’s Mobile Robot Lab. When you compare the evolution of mental abilities in animals to similar abilities in machines, robot evolution is going about 10 million times faster. The director of Survival Research Laboratories, Mark Pauline, speculates that the ultra-intelligent robots of the future, like the predatory machines of the Terminator movies, may eradicate most humans. This may not be as far-fetched as one might think, with the advent of the global web and the sharing of knowledge. The computers that control the robots are connected to better facilitate the manufacturing process.
As the network goes ever larger there is the possibility that it might become self-aware. There are even people who believe that the robot and its artificial intelligence is the next step in the evolutionary chain. Whatever the beliefs, our dependence on the robot continues to increase. Medicine is one of the largest growing industries. As humans quest for longer and healthier lives, the robot is become one of the main tools.
Procedures like corrective eye surgery, heart surgery, diagnostic medicine are all being accomplished by machine. There are even robots being developed that are small enough to travel in your bloodstream and do surgical procedures from the inside. SUMMARY The introduction of machines into the work place has caused fears and unrest from the very first. Fear of the unknown and fear of replacement has always been a key factor in this unrest. This fear still exists, but the robot is here to stay. It has become a vital part of the manufacturing process, freeing humans to be a more creative part of the process.
The robot was created to do away with the brain dead employee by doing task that were repetitive in nature. The robot is extremely successful in this endeavor. This success drives the inventor to look for more amore places to use the robot. CONCLUSION Man has always looked for easier ways to accomplish a task. When prehistoric man pick up a rock to kill his prey man was set on a course.
Where that course will end only God knows. The pathway has been rough and bumpy and change has come hard for the majority of people. Look at the friction that the first mechanical loom caused, but human nature being what it is, any thing that makes a task easier is usually excepted. It is the nature of man to react to change, the status quo rules. The pressure of the masses is making it harder and harder to resist change. Technology continues to increase at an expediential rate and there is no end in sight. Its going to be a wild ride, George Jetson here we come! Bibliography BIBLIOGRAPHY 1.
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