Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Community News Network

December 30, 2013

In technology, 2013 was a more amazing year than you think

(Continued)

Rosie the Robot came one step closer to reality. We have long been waiting for robots such as the housekeeper in "The Jetsons." These weren't practical to build because of the massive computing power required to understand human words and the sensors needed for the robots to "see" and move. Smartphones such as the iPhone 5S now have more computing power than the supercomputers of yesteryear, which fit into large buildings and required water cooling. With the shrinking of computers and sensors and their dramatic drops in price, we can now build the robots we dreamed of.

It is noteworthy that Google just purchased robotics developer, Boston Dynamics, as well as seven others. With its self-driving car and these acquisitions, it seems that Google sees robots as big business. Amazon is also installing robots made by Kiva Systems to move boxes in its warehouses. Amazon founder (and Washington Post owner) Jeff Bezos said Amazon plans to use robotic drones to deliver goods.

Whether we realize it or not, the robotic revolution is underway. Robots have advanced to the point that for some types of goods, it is cheaper to manufacture in the United States than China. One such robot is Baxter from Rethink Robotics. It has two arms, a face that displays simulated emotion, and cameras and sensors that detect the motion of human beings who work next to it. It can perform assembly and move boxes — just as humans do. It will work 24 hours a day and not complain. It costs only $22,000. I expect that what is a trickle of manufacturing returning to the United States from China will later in this decade become a flood. I also expect to place my order for Rosie sometime in 2020 and have it delivered by an Amazon drone.

Text Only
Community News Network
Features
AP Video
Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Obama Advisor Skips House Hearing Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

Yes
No
     View Results