It’s no secret that robotics will play a huge part in the industrial revolution of the near future. In fact, it’s already a huge part of manufacturing and redundant applications. Currently, China is not the leading country in robotics, but, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), by 2017, China will lead the world in robotics use in manufacturing.
In the video below, robots in Beijing are producing noodles at a restaurant that are equivalent to hired chefs. (This video is from 2012)
In the video below, robots cook and deliver food to patrons in a restaurant in Kunshan, China. (This video is from 2014)
According to Business Insider, robot makers from around the world including Switzerland, Germany, Japan, and the United States have already established production industries in China. More are soon to follow. Foxconn, the Taiwanese company behind the handheld electronics we all use (iPhones, iPads, etc), are already employing Foxbot robots and robots from other suppliers.
Are we heading into a second industrial revolution? A revolution led by machine learning devices of our own creation will affect the job market around the world and is serious cause for reinterpreting skill sets our younger generation will need to survive in the future. In 2013, the MIT Sloan School of Management wrote an article about how technology is destroying jobs. According to the article, the rapid acceleration of technology has been destroying jobs and is the cause of the slow job growth of the last 10 to 15 years. Productivity and employment are key to a healthy economic environment, and with the threat of automation, the future doesn’t look bright.
On the flip side, robotics can help with many agricultural and environmental issues the world faces.
Will robotics spur an economic redistribution, or are we just worrying about talking refrigerators and microwaves?