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posted by martyb on Wednesday January 19 2022, @07:49PM   Printer-friendly
from the it-has-begun dept.

Now You Can Rent a Robot Worker:

Polar Manufacturing has been making ​metal ​hinges, locks, and brackets ​in south Chicago for more than 100 years. Some of the company's metal presses—hulking great machines that loom over a worker—date from the 1950s. Last year, to meet rising demand amid a shortage of workers, Polar hired its first robot employee.

The robot arm performs a simple, repetitive job: lifting a piece of metal into a press, which then bends the metal into a new shape. And like a person, the robot worker gets paid for the hours it works.

​Jose Figueroa​, who manages Polar's production line, says the robot, which is leased from a company called Formic, costs the equivalent of $8 per hour, compared with a minimum wage of $15 per hour for a human employee. Deploying the robot allowed a human worker to do different work, increasing output, Figueroa says.

"Smaller companies sometimes suffer because they can't spend the capital to invest in new technology," Figueroa says. "We're just struggling to get by with the minimum wage increase."

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 19 2022, @08:49PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 19 2022, @08:49PM (#1213936)

    I recall a story published in an early 90s issue of Analog SF&F where the Upper-Middle/Bourgeoisie-class had moved on from being Landlords and Property 'developers', to doing this same thing of owning/shareholding of Robot stock that were rented out to Industry (..and gaining control over it)... As the author didn't protect this into being a Bad Thing for the rest of society, I suspected their motivation was proselytizing the idea...

  • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday January 20 2022, @12:37AM

    by HiThere (866) on Thursday January 20 2022, @12:37AM (#1214010) Journal

    If it was in Analog, the author probably didn't consider the negative effects. Astounding-Analog had a long tradition of techno-optimism.

    Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.