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A Humanoid Robot Named "Baxter" Could Revive US Manufacturing 414

fangmcgee writes "Rethink Robotics invented a $22,000 humanoid robot named "Baxter" that could give cheap offshore labor a run for its money and return manufacturing jobs to U.S. soil. Artificial intelligence expert Rodney Brooks is the brain behind Baxter. From the article: 'Brooks’s company, Rethink Robotics, says the robot will spark a “renaissance” in American manufacturing by helping small companies compete against low-wage offshore labor. Baxter will do that by accelerating a trend of factory efficiency that’s eliminated more jobs in the U.S. than overseas competition has. Of the approximately 5.8 million manufacturing jobs the U.S. lost between 2000 and 2010, according to McKinsey Global Institute, two-thirds were lost because of higher productivity and only 20 percent moved to places like China, Mexico, or Thailand.'"
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A Humanoid Robot Named "Baxter" Could Revive US Manufacturing

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  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @11:07PM (#42612737) Journal

    Also shitloads of engineering still happens in the US -- offshoring of that has been far less successful than manual labor.

  • by Su27K ( 652607 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @11:24PM (#42612861)
    China and US electricity prices are not that different []
  • Re:Silly (Score:3, Informative)

    by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) * on Thursday January 17, 2013 @12:26AM (#42613291)

    The total cost of hiring a 30 cent a day worker is 30 cents day.

    Plus the cost of management, lighting, heating, A/C, restrooms, cafeterias, downtime for breaks and shift changes, and dealing with the defects caused by human workers.

    then China would be using more robots.

    China is using more robots [].

  • by painandgreed ( 692585 ) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @03:56PM (#42619623)


    Work two days a week and ... raise 2.5 children, own a home in the suburbs and a sensible late-model auto, enjoy an annual family vacation to a popular American tourist destination, and have not one single case of throat irritation (from smoking Camel cigarettes).

    You should check to see what "middle class" living was actually like in 1950. You might have a car and a house but the house was only 600 sq ft. The father got bacon and eggs and the rest got porridge because that was all they could afford. The family had to do laundry at the end of the week as if they didn't they wouldn't have any clothes for the next week. The wife had to stay home because most modern appliances did not exist or were not available to their price range.

    The 50's were good times not because we were wealthy through the entire thing but because it was a time of increasing wealth. It was a general .com boom for everybody. Men were job hopping every year or two into a new job at a higher pay. Appliances were becoming affordable to lessen the work load at home. Clothes and food were becoming cheaper. What was considered middle class in the beginning of the 1950's in terms of size of house lived in, food purchased, and clothing owned would be considered well below poverty level these days.

    If you really want to see bad times though, go back and look at the great depression. People in the US were actually in threat of starving to death. The soldiers of WW2 were an inch or two shorter than the generation before and after simply due to lack of food while growing up. People of today would consider great depression conditions worse than apocalyptic and probably were worse than some movies show life after the apocalypse.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp