Engineers are dreaming up iPad robots

Update: Ooops. Originally thought this was an Apple patent.

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Patently Apple today publishes some interesting new patents from developers including what appears to be an “iRobot” (oops, name taken) built around an iPad head.

iRobot’s introductory abstract describes the invention this way: “A robot system includes a mobile robot having a controller executing a control system for controlling operation of the robot, a cloud computing service in communication with the controller of the robot, and a remote computing device in communication with the cloud computing service. The remote computing device communicates with the robot through the cloud computing service.”

Subsequent drawings include navigation and obstacle avoidance (below) which seems to indicate that this is a “mobile” device in every sense of the word.  Most of the perceived applications appear to be in the medical setting… Read more

Foxconn will bring on 1 million robots in 3 years to replace workers

Foxconn’s founder and chariman Terry Gou said the company will replace an unspecified amount workers with one million robots in three years. Foxconn is the Asian manufacturer that is responsible for many components inside of Apple, Sony, and Nokia’s devices. Currently, the company has 10,000 robots and will expand to 300,000 next year, gradually opening the door to a total of one million robots in three years.

One interesting aspect of a robotized workforce is that it makes places with more expensive workers more competitive.

The robots will be used to accomplish basic tasks like spraying, wielding, and assembling. Foxconn currently employs 1.2 million people, therefore one million robots could potentially be a big hit on employment in China. Read more