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Google's collaboration with Foxconn sheds light on robotics ambitions

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
According to a report on Tuesday, Google's Andy Rubin and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou have been discussing cutting edge robotics technology, including an operating system built to run manufacturing machines.

Rubin
Former Android chief and current head of Google's robotics arm Andy Rubin.


Citing sources familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reports Rubin and Gou have been collaborating on Google's robotics plans since late last year. Among the topics of discussion is a robotics operating system that could do for manufacturing what Android has done to mobile phones.

Heading the initiative is former Android chief Rubin, who was tapped to run Google's newly formed robotics team late last year. The Internet search giant is eyeing an entry into automated manufacturing and could even compete in the retail segment against industry titan Amazon, sources said.

The publication went on to say Rubin asked Gou for help in integrating the technology of a recently purchased robotics firm. Google acquired eight such companies in 2013, including the high-profile purchase of U.S. defense contractor Boston Dynamics, but until now not much was known of what the company planned to do with the robotics tech.

While a formal partnership is far from solidified, the WSJ said Foxconn's expertise in manufacturing makes it an optimal testing ground for Google's advanced robotics initiatives.

For Foxconn, the world's largest electronics manufacturer and major Apple supplier, working with Google could be the next step in a push toward production facility automation. The Taiwan-based firm is looking to roll out robots in its plants to combat rising Chinese labor costs and fallout from workplace disputes.
post #2 of 62
Imagine how cheaply they could produce Android phones if they can get the production process automatised? Apple needs to not let them get too far ahead on this stuff.
post #3 of 62

I actually think that if anyone should feel threatened by this, it's actually these people, not Apple.

post #4 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post
 

I actually think that if anyone should feel threatened by this, it's actually these people, not Apple.

 

What the hell for? Honda has decades of lead experience in this field.

post #5 of 62
Future News Headline:

"Foxconn to be investigated for employing suspected outside-warranty workers"
post #6 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
 

 

What the hell for? Honda has decades of lead experience in this field.

 

But what kind of press have their efforts generated? Who (with the exception of an educated few) has even heard of Asimo? Regardless of the quality of work it generates, anything that Google does easily garners more press and attention.

post #7 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
 

 

What the hell for? Honda has decades of lead experience in this field.

While Honda has done impressive and interesting work, can you make a convincing case that they are the *lead* company in this area? Lest we forget, Boston Dynamics is now part of Google.

post #8 of 62

It is a little surprising that Google is talking to Foxconn so early. Foxconn is NOT an expert in robotics and automation. They are a customer or user. Google does not have products to sell them yet. On the other hand, such a discussion would make sense if Google is contemplating a system that integrates an entire factory to automate/control material flow. In that case, this goes far beyond robotics.

post #9 of 62
Quote:

Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to a report on Tuesday, Google's Andy Rubin...

 

...Among the topics of discussion is a robotics operating system that could do for manufacturing what Android has done to mobile phones...

 

Great (sigh), robots running amok! 


Edited by IQatEdo - 2/11/14 at 4:30am
Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #10 of 62
I hate financial people, but sometimes their point of view helps to analyze things.

From a financial point of view, automation consists in replacing labor force by capital. The interest of the operation depends on the respective cost of each term of the equation.

There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

Frank Zappa

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There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

Frank Zappa

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post #11 of 62
To be honest i'm not really into this $hit, what waste of money

 

 

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post #12 of 62
Who cares what Google is doing with robotics? I don't see why this is relevant news for an Apple fan site.
post #13 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roly View Post

Who cares what Google is doing with robotics? I don't see why this is relevant news for an Apple fan site.
Me neither. But I must say Google does a good job of leaking stuff to get the tech press all a buzz. Like when they announced they were working on a "smart" contact lens and the tech press jumped on it. But then we find out it's at least 5 years before something like that could come to market.
post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
 

 

What the hell for? Honda has decades of lead experience in this field.

Exactly.  This field is not new nor is Google breaking new ground with its technology.

They needed to focus on a market and develop this stuff in-house, and first and foremost, make it way better than anything else out there.

 

I think Google has made another huge mistake probably because some of its big politician share holders made it go into the field to rescue their old dying corporate holdings.  It looks like they bought everything (nothing developed in-house) and are now trying to integrate everything.  This could turn into a big useless mess of somebody's pipe dream.  A lot of money spent on useless toys with nothing to show for it.

 

Time will tell.

post #15 of 62
For anyone who is going to write, "Apple should...", please pause for a moment. This is a long response.

Apple IS already working with Foxconn in the robotics manufacturing area. Also, Apple has hired many ex-Segway employees including John Morrell, as reported by Apple Insider last year... http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/04/02/apples-hiring-of-ex-segway-robotics-expert-fuels-speculation-of-fantastic-future-products.

Anyone remember reading this article way back in 2011?

Additionally, Gou noted that at the present time the company utilizes 10,000 robots, a number that will rise to 300,000 next year and to one million in three years. Foxconn, who currently employs 1.2 million people, is the largest manufacturer of computer components in the world, assembling products for numerous tech giants, including Apple and Sony.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/07/31/foxconn_to_substitute_workers_with_1_million_robots_in_3_years.html
______________________________

Where I currently live...

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/22/apple-partner-foxconn-to-invest-40m-in-robots-research-in-pennsylvania
______________________________

Thanks to Patently Apple, here are snippets and links to the Apple/Foxconn robotic manufacturing collaboration...

On October 17, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that their 2012 ultrathin iMac was manufactured by using a very sophisticated robotic force. The insane design precision didn't come about by accident. Apple's latest patent application describes a robotic solution created by Apple for the iMac and beyond. Apple's iMac webpage as noted above states that Apple re-imagined everything, re-engineered everything about the iMac and today's patent filing proves that out. This is Apple's second robotic invention. Apple's first design was for a robotic arm for manufacturing the iPhone that we covered back in January. Lastly, we present you with a secondary patent published today titled "Cosmetic Defect Reduction in Anodized Parts." It's Apple's new "finishing" bath designed to degrease, de-smut, anodize and chemically polish the iMac and other future iDevices until they reflect Apple's aesthetically insane finish so that they can give it their official stamp of approval: Designed by Apple in California.

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/10/apple-reveals-new-laser-manufacturing-process-for-the-imac.html
______________________________

In late January Patently Apple reported that production of Apple' iPhone 5 at Hon Hai had begun to utilize a robotic workforce. Hon Hai is aiming to have more than a million robots on their production line over the next few years covering everything from precision work right down to finishing work like polishing. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office revealed Apple's patent application for an invention relating to a robotic arm designed for the finishing process of products such as the iPhone. Today's patent report closes by presenting you with a wide range of other patent filings that were published today covering such matters as the MagSafe 2 connector and Apple's Internal LCD display testing methodology.

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/02/apple-invents-new-robotic-arm-finishing-system-for-iphone.html
______________________________

Here is a link from Computer World...

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9234477/A_U.S._Apple_factory_may_be_robot_city?taxonomyId=163&pageNumber=1

With YouTube video of the MacBook Pro unibody manufacturing process...

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lJx6cF-H__I&feature=youtu.be&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DlJx6cF-H__I%26feature%3Dyoutu.be
______________________________

I supplied this Bloomberg link because it contains video that ties all of the information above in a video. The analyst actually gets credit for not being uninformed before talking!

Anyone remember the $10.5 billion allocation for 2014?!?

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-13/apple-s-10-5b-on-robots-to-lasers-shores-up-supply-chain.html
______________________________

I think Apple is already where Google is trying to go with this Foxconn proposal.

I think Apple most likely is using an embedded form of the Mac OS to run its robotic manufacturing processes.

Apple does not necessarily have to buy robotics companies to get involved in robotic manufacturing. We have seen Apple's robotic manufacturing prowess for years in video after video after video.

Last June's Mac Pro video showed us how that device would be manufactured with robots in Texas.

Lastly, keep in mind that Apple designs the machines used to build its products, has manufacturers make the machines, and buys the machines for its suppliers to use in manufacturing Apple products based on Apple designs.

Other than actually building machines itself, Apple has nearly all parts of the manufacturing process chain covered.
post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roly View Post

Who cares what Google is doing with robotics? I don't see why this is relevant news for an Apple fan site.

 

Of course it is:  http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/13/apple-investing-record-105-billion-on-supply-chain-robots-machinery

 

Google is trying to compete in manufacturing with Apple, which already has a huge lead.

 

People, we are entering in to some exciting times in feild of manufacturing.

post #17 of 62

You know what I just realized? The words "A Google company" were obviously cropped out of this logo.

 

</jk>

post #18 of 62
Rise of the machines. Judgement day.
An Apple man since 1977
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An Apple man since 1977
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post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post
 

 

But what kind of press have their efforts generated? Who (with the exception of an educated few) has even heard of Asimo? Regardless of the quality of work it generates, anything that Google does easily garners more press and attention.

 

My thesis was in the design of a distributed control system for a bipedal walking robot and after that I worked for half a decade in automated manufacturing. So, I am one of the educated few, and I have to tell you right now that the type of robot that Asimo is and the type of robot that they are showing are not really that cutting edge in robotics, and walking robots have practically zero to do with manufacturing robots.

 

As for garnering and generating press and attention, when the average consumer starts buying robots that will matter. Until then, well, the people who actually buy robots know what is going on and pay attention to who they need to pay attention to. And I can tell you, Google isn't anyone that anybody is going to pay attention to unless they want to fund some research at universities.

 

As a person who has used industrial robots I can tell you that there is absolutely no way that I would use a robot controlled by a Google OS without a TON of trials. I don't think people realize what sort of leap this is. This isn't like programming an OS for a smartphone or a server running a search algorithm. I am not being at all hyperbolic when I say that if a manufacturing robot's OS has a bug it could kill someone and easily cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. Therefore, this software is slow to update and tested to death. That is pretty much the antithesis of Google's, and to be honest pretty much every consumer facing company's, mentality. Google and Apple and Microsoft are driven by coming out with something new and shiny every cycle to keep the mass's attention, if it isn't completely stable, well that is why they have point releases. In the world of manufacturing the pace is much slower and you don't get the luxury of making it stable in a point release.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by acatomic View Post
 

 

Of course it is:  http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/13/apple-investing-record-105-billion-on-supply-chain-robots-machinery

 

Google is trying to compete in manufacturing with Apple, which already has a huge lead.

 

People, we are entering in to some exciting times in feild of manufacturing.

 

I predict that this is going to do almost completely ZERO in manufacturing. Other than dumping a lot of money into this I don't see Apple or Google doing anything truly groundbreaking in this field. It is just to contrary to their entire corporate mentality. Mechanically, manufacturing robotics have been mature for a decade or two now, it is basically in the commodity phase. They are a few decades behind in the development of a control OS and software, which as I stated above does not work like a consumer OS. Honestly, I am at a loss to figure out exactly what either Apple or Google is going to do to vastly improve field of industrial robotics. Companies like Fanuc have made such great strides in the fields of robotic vision and force feedback that they have a robot that can insert a mechanical pencil's lead into the end of the pencil. I can't remember the name of the company now, but half a decade ago a Japanese industrial robotic's manufacturer released the first industrial robot certified to work next to a person without a safety cage or light curtain, 99% of all industrial robots would kill you without even slowing down.

post #20 of 62
I believe Andy Rubin's goal is the first "general use" robotic line worker. In other words, just bring in the robot, show it what to do in a natural way and it will repeat the assignment in an efficient way. This will in turn lead to robot workers and assistants in every facet of society.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

For anyone who is going to write, "Apple should...", please pause for a moment. This is a long response.

Apple IS already working with Foxconn in the robotics manufacturing area. Also, Apple has hired many ex-Segway employees including John Morrell, as reported by Apple Insider last year... http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/04/02/apples-hiring-of-ex-segway-robotics-expert-fuels-speculation-of-fantastic-future-products.

Anyone remember reading this article way back in 2011?

Additionally, Gou noted that at the present time the company utilizes 10,000 robots, a number that will rise to 300,000 next year and to one million in three years. Foxconn, who currently employs 1.2 million people, is the largest manufacturer of computer components in the world, assembling products for numerous tech giants, including Apple and Sony.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/07/31/foxconn_to_substitute_workers_with_1_million_robots_in_3_years.html
______________________________

Where I currently live...

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/22/apple-partner-foxconn-to-invest-40m-in-robots-research-in-pennsylvania
______________________________

Thanks to Patently Apple, here are snippets and links to the Apple/Foxconn robotic manufacturing collaboration...

On October 17, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that their 2012 ultrathin iMac was manufactured by using a very sophisticated robotic force. The insane design precision didn't come about by accident. Apple's latest patent application describes a robotic solution created by Apple for the iMac and beyond. Apple's iMac webpage as noted above states that Apple re-imagined everything, re-engineered everything about the iMac and today's patent filing proves that out. This is Apple's second robotic invention. Apple's first design was for a robotic arm for manufacturing the iPhone that we covered back in January. Lastly, we present you with a secondary patent published today titled "Cosmetic Defect Reduction in Anodized Parts." It's Apple's new "finishing" bath designed to degrease, de-smut, anodize and chemically polish the iMac and other future iDevices until they reflect Apple's aesthetically insane finish so that they can give it their official stamp of approval: Designed by Apple in California.

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/10/apple-reveals-new-laser-manufacturing-process-for-the-imac.html
______________________________

In late January Patently Apple reported that production of Apple' iPhone 5 at Hon Hai had begun to utilize a robotic workforce. Hon Hai is aiming to have more than a million robots on their production line over the next few years covering everything from precision work right down to finishing work like polishing. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office revealed Apple's patent application for an invention relating to a robotic arm designed for the finishing process of products such as the iPhone. Today's patent report closes by presenting you with a wide range of other patent filings that were published today covering such matters as the MagSafe 2 connector and Apple's Internal LCD display testing methodology.

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/02/apple-invents-new-robotic-arm-finishing-system-for-iphone.html
______________________________

Here is a link from Computer World...

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9234477/A_U.S._Apple_factory_may_be_robot_city?taxonomyId=163&pageNumber=1

With YouTube video of the MacBook Pro unibody manufacturing process...

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lJx6cF-H__I&feature=youtu.be&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DlJx6cF-H__I%26feature%3Dyoutu.be
______________________________

I supplied this Bloomberg link because it contains video that ties all of the information above in a video. The analyst actually gets credit for not being uninformed before talking!

Anyone remember the $10.5 billion allocation for 2014?!?

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-13/apple-s-10-5b-on-robots-to-lasers-shores-up-supply-chain.html
______________________________

I think Apple is already where Google is trying to go with this Foxconn proposal.

I think Apple most likely is using an embedded form of the Mac OS to run its robotic manufacturing processes.

Apple does not necessarily have to buy robotics companies to get involved in robotic manufacturing. We have seen Apple's robotic manufacturing prowess for years in video after video after video.

Last June's Mac Pro video showed us how that device would be manufactured with robots in Texas.

Lastly, keep in mind that Apple designs the machines used to build its products, has manufacturers make the machines, and buys the machines for its suppliers to use in manufacturing Apple products based on Apple designs.

Other than actually building machines itself, Apple has nearly all parts of the manufacturing process chain covered.

Thank you for the work in your post. Very interesting stuff there.

Apple is far further into this than I had any idea of. The thing that strikes me is Apple are not looking as though they intend to sell this technology in anyway, rather use it in house.

Google on the other hand will want to make money on all and everything they touch.

Also, what's the betting they will be calling at least one line of robots Cylons? 1hmm.gif
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post
Lastly, keep in mind that Apple designs the machines used to build its products, has manufacturers make the machines, and buys the machines for its suppliers to use in manufacturing Apple products based on Apple designs.

 

It sounds like Apple is WAY ahead of Google here.  Google is just desperate!

post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post
Apple is far further into this than I had any idea of. The thing that strikes me is Apple are not looking as though they intend to sell this technology in anyway, rather use it in house.

Google on the other hand will want to make money on all and everything they touch.
 

 

To be fair, cutting labor costs internally will result in Apple money on this technology too. There's a valid strategy in developing a process to hold an edge over your competition.

 

Google (maybe) will essentially be enabling others to compete more efficiently with Apple.

post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I believe Andy Rubin's goal is the first "general use" robotic line worker. In other words, just bring in the robot, show it what to do in a natural way and it will repeat the assignment in an efficient way. This will in turn lead to robot workers and assistants in every facet of society.

 

Then you run smack dab into the economics of it. The problem with a "general use" robot is that a manufacturing process doesn't change that quickly or that much for the majority of industry. For instance, a line to build a smartphone will remain pretty much the exact same for a year or more, that means that for all of that time your "general use" robot will have a load of features that it will not use, but you paid for.

 

It is similar to the consideration between a robotic flex feed systems (A vibratory table coupled with a vision system and a robot. This system can be programmed to feed a variety of different parts.) and a customized vibratory feed system (A system which can only feed the part that it is built to feed. However, is generally an order of magnitude cheaper than a robotic flex feed system.). In all of my time in industrial automation we only supplied a robotic flex feed system around 2-3% of the time. The fact was that for most companies it was much more economically feasible to order an entire new vibratory feed system when they re-purposed a line then to pay for a robotic system.

 

At this time I just don't see the economic viability of this being enough for any but a few manufacturers to want. Especially, when you consider that current industrial robots are pretty much "general use". Sure, it isn't as simply as showing them what to do in a natural way and they will just do it, but then again, given safety concerns and the way that manufacturing actually works many things are done would be much less efficient if done in a way that a human could naturally do. And this is discounting range of motion constraints for humans that don't necessarily exist for an industrial robot. At least I have never met a person with a nearly 360 degree rotating elbow or a three jointed arm (not counting shoulder).

post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post
 

 

Then you run smack dab into the economics of it. The problem with a "general use" robot is that a manufacturing process doesn't change that quickly or that much for the majority of industry. For instance, a line to build a smartphone will remain pretty much the exact same for a year or more, that means that for all of that time your "general use" robot will have a load of features that it will not use, but you paid for.

 

It is similar to the consideration between a robotic flex feed systems (A vibratory table coupled with a vision system and a robot. This system can be programmed to feed a variety of different parts.) and a customized vibratory feed system (A system which can only feed the part that it is built to feed. However, is generally an order of magnitude cheaper than a robotic flex feed system.). In all of my time in industrial automation we only supplied a robotic flex feed system around 2-3% of the time. The fact was that for most companies it was much more economically feasible to order an entire new vibratory feed system when they re-purposed a line then to pay for a robotic system.

 

At this time I just don't see the economic viability of this being enough for any but a few manufacturers to want. Especially, when you consider that current industrial robots are pretty much "general use". Sure, it isn't as simply as showing them what to do in a natural way and they will just do it, but then again, given safety concerns and the way that manufacturing actually works many things are done would be much less efficient if done in a way that a human could naturally do. And this is discounting range of motion constraints for humans that don't necessarily exist for an industrial robot. At least I have never met a person with a nearly 360 degree rotating elbow or a three jointed arm (not counting shoulder).

 

I think the money is in replacing the people, not the current machines.

 

With respect to replacing the more specific current machines, remember that it took a while for all of our pocket items to end up in one container (keys, pen, paper, calculator, cash, credit cards, phone, laptop in some cases, camera, portable music, etc.). With certain cars and an e-home setup, we're getting really close to the point that you can get through a day with nothing more than a smartphone and a driver's license in your pockets. Millions now carry smartphones around, and most don't even use half of the capabilities available. 

 

Eventually, I think economy of scale will minimize the cost of unused extra features in manufacturing robots.

post #26 of 62

I guess that the other thing is that eventually, the robotics industry will be mostly about the software, and not so much about the hardware. I have a friend who is using a fairly inexpensive 3D printer to print parts to make 3D printer kits for his friends. Maybe a week's worth of printing and $400 worth of steppers, heaters, and controllers, and you have the capabilities of a $2500 printer. He has the time to do this because he's printed a CNC cutter that he's using to build a bigger CNC cutter that he'll use to make parts under contract (he's already signed up for a big run of wooden gun stock blanks). He'll be into this efficient manufacturing business with less than $5000 invested.

 

Companies will likely be able to source robots in similar ways, either themselves, or contracted out. Robots can assemble the printed robot parts. It will all cost very little for the hardware, and all the value is in the software.

post #27 of 62
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

What the hell for? Honda has decades of lead experience in this field.

 

Why should Sony be worried about Apple? They have decades of lead experience in the music player field.

Why should Research in Motion be worried about Apple? They have decades of lead experience in the phone field.

Why should IBM be worried about Apple? They have decades of lead experience in the tablet field.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #28 of 62
The android police from movies like THX-1138 and Elysium were warnings from the future. They all obey Google.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

The android police from movies like THX-1138 and Elysium were warnings from the future. They all obey Google.

Heh, heh...

Ray Kurzweil advises Google and he authored the idea of the Singularity and immortality in our lifetimes...so I think we know where this is headed.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

For anyone who is going to write, "Apple should...", please pause for a moment. This is a long response.

Apple IS already working with Foxconn in the robotics manufacturing area. Also, Apple has hired many ex-Segway employees including John Morrell, as reported by Apple Insider last year... http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/04/02/apples-hiring-of-ex-segway-robotics-expert-fuels-speculation-of-fantastic-future-products.

...

Other than actually building machines itself, Apple has nearly all parts of the manufacturing process chain covered.

Great post, but I think there are two important issues:

- Employment rates around the world are poor enough and a robotics work force would decrease it even more.   While I don't want to sound like a luddite, if everyone is unemployed, who is left to buy the products these companies produce, especially when the companies are not only producing luxury products for the upper classes, but where the markets expect them to produce products for the masses?

 

Also, wages in China the other third-world places are so low, even with increases that create a larger middle-class, I think it's going to be at least 25 years before it's less expensive to use robots to replace most workers than the cost of their labor.  (Using the occasional robotic arm or mechanized device to dip parts in acid or automatic "pickers" in a  warehouse is another story).

 

- I think the future goes way beyond using robots for manufacturing.  I have predicted many times on this site that a future Apple is going to be a  robotics company.    I think Siri is just the first one-celled organism step in that process.    Now I'll hedge that bet a little bit because Apple doesn't seem to have the same vision that they once had and maybe other companies are going to get their first and dominate the market, but I think our kids (or grandkids) are going to have robots as part of their lives.    Obviously, they will be very expensive at first and sold to industry first and then to the same people who buy Tesla automobiles, but it's eventually going to be affordable to at least upper middle-class families.   

post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Great post, but I think there are two important issues:
- Employment rates around the world are poor enough and a robotics work force would decrease it even more.   While I don't want to sound like a luddite, if everyone is unemployed, who is left to buy the products these companies produce, especially when the companies are not only producing luxury products for the upper classes, but where the markets expect them to produce products for the masses?

Also, wages in China the other third-world places are so low, even with increases that create a larger middle-class, I think it's going to be at least 25 years before it's less expensive to use robots to replace most workers than the cost of their labor.  (Using the occasional robotic arm or mechanized device to dip parts in acid or automatic "pickers" in a  warehouse is another story).

- I think the future goes way beyond using robots for manufacturing.  I have predicted many times on this site that a future Apple is going to be a  robotics company.    I think Siri is just the first one-celled organism step in that process.    Now I'll hedge that bet a little bit because Apple doesn't seem to have the same vision that they once had and maybe other companies are going to get their first and dominate the market, but I think our kids (or grandkids) are going to have robots as part of their lives.    Obviously, they will be very expensive at first and sold to industry first and then to the same people who buy Tesla automobiles, but it's eventually going to be affordable to at least upper middle-class families.   

When the cost to employ and train an unreliable person is greater than the cost of replacing them with a reliable robot, there will be far more robot workers. Just keep pushing up that minimum wage and you'll see every worker at every McDonalds replaced with self-order kiosks and automated systems. Believe it.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


When the cost to employ and train an unreliable person is greater than the cost of replacing them with a reliable robot, there will be far more robot workers. Just keep pushing up that minimum wage and you'll see every worker at every McDonalds replaced with self-order kiosks and automated systems. Believe it.

Yep. It's already happening. We recently got a bag of sponsor items at an event, and there were three different types of cheap, crappy water bottles in there. They were all made in USA, likely by robots that displaced Chinese workers. The trend will continue.

 

It is worrying about the elimination of jobs and the kind of worldwide economy we'll have when most humans don't offer any capabilities that are worth money, or these lower-skilled humans will only be needed for remedial support of robots. Changes are coming.

post #33 of 62

Apple should buy or at least get involved in Aldebaran Robotics and their NAO project. The focus of NAO is to have a helpful, dialogue-capable intelligent and friendly robot in every home, which is very much Apple's style

post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emes View Post
 

Apple should buy or at least get involved in Aldebaran Robotics and their NAO project. The focus of NAO is to have a helpful, dialogue-capable intelligent and friendly robot in every home, which is very much Apple's style

 

Well, Apple would do the "every affluent home" version of that.

post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

When the cost to employ and train an unreliable person is greater than the cost of replacing them with a reliable robot, there will be far more robot workers. Just keep pushing up that minimum wage and you'll see every worker at every McDonalds replaced with self-order kiosks and automated systems. Believe it.

Butlerian Jihad. You were warned.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #36 of 62

Google's iRobot.

 

Not interested until they can sort out the singularity or an assassin robot that I can buy with Bitcoins so it can't be traced back to me.

post #37 of 62

For less than a sec, I thought that was SJ's picture. Still I consider one sec a long time looking at some idiot who's been always dreaming of being Steve Jobs ....

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

Reply
post #38 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbia View Post
 

some idiot who's been always dreaming of being Steve Jobs ....

 

You?

 

Or are you talking about Andy Rubin?

post #39 of 62
We alr
Quote:
Originally Posted by Didier Newman View Post

So, if machines take over all human activity, including art and science, what will happen to the organic body and its conditioned-to-work-and-think brain? Surely, will it decay? Is mankind-machines coexistence possible while people are fighting for jobs and resources: competition, nations, and so on? Anyway, what is the endeavour in which a robot cannot take part or channel at all? Why won't the future automatons be alive? What is the fundamental difference between a mechanical structure, organic or inorganic, that imitates life and life itself? Is there any, virtual or real? If it said that there is a difference, is it just some kind of authority who defines and differentiates? Perhaps then, someday, will be a powerful automaton the one who will define life, its unique life, truth itself? That is, where it begins and ends life? Along these lines, there is a peculiar book, take a look in a sample in Just another freethinking suggestion, far away from dogmas or axioms

We already have computers with enough brain power to think, or have "life". I guess that answers the question, there is an authority that defines and differentiates as you say. I believe it's the same God who sent Jesus.
post #40 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
 

 

You?

 

Or are you talking about Andy Rubin?

 

"It got incredibly personal," says one Apple executive who was briefed by Jobs on the meeting. "Jobs said that Rubin was steamed, telling him his position was anti-innovation. And this is where Steve was demeaning to Andy, saying Andy was trying to be like him, look like him, have the same haircut, the same glasses, the same style."

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-on-android-founder-andy-rubin-big-arrogant-f-2013-11

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

Reply

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

Reply
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