Outsourcing has ended many Americans' jobs. Day after day, news reports inform us of American corporations that have moved their factories abroad. Why? Well, manufacturing costs in China are a lot cheaper. We also know that in today's process automation industry, efficiency is an important factor and machine builders have crafted efficiency in their machines. This is why many robots are now taking over our jobs.
Don't be surprised if one day you show up to work and find out that you've been replaced by a robot. Don't worry. Your metal replacement won't be a foreign citizen. The robot could very well be 100% American.
I was browsing the web and came across this promotional video from Rethink Robotics. Meet Baxter, a robot with common sense. The video says that Baxter is a low cost, highly adaptive robot for manufacturing applications. The promotional video also says that Baxter increases workforce productivity so factories in the U.S. can compete with low-cost, off-shore labor costs.
You can learn more about Baxter in Managin Editor Aaron Hand's blog post "Robot Employment Scare: 'Crappy Journalism'?." Read the blog post and find out how much hiring Baxter will cost your. Its salary is pretty much the same as the annual salary of a Chinese worker.
Our Editor in Chief Joe Feeley also talks about Baxter and Rethink Robotics in his February 2013 editorial "Robot World." Feeley got to meet Baxter (I'm so jealous!) and he describes him as a "two-arm somewhat-human-acting robot with big blue eyes." You'll be able to meet Baxter and other robots in Feeley's article soon.
Overall, I'm glad too see that we are producing our own robotic workforce. Baxter seems like a good looking, friendly, team player kind of robot, but I still don't like thinking that I can be replaced by a machine.