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Robotics Apple Hardware

A US Apple Factory May Be Robot City 602

dcblogs writes "Apple's planned investment of $100 million next year in a U.S. manufacturing facility is relatively small, but still important. A 2009 Apple video of its unibody manufacturing process has glimpses of highly automated robotic systems shaping the metal. In it, Jonathan Ive, Apple's senior vice president of design, described it. 'Machining enables a level of precision that is just completely unheard of in this industry,' he said. Apple has had three years to improve its manufacturing technology, and will likely rely heavily on automation to hold down labor costs, say analysts and manufacturers. Larry Sweet, the CTO of Symbotic, which makes autonomous mobile robots for use in warehouse distribution, described a possible scenario for Apple's U.S. factory. First, a robot loads the aluminum block into the robo-machine that has a range of tools for cutting and drilling shapes to produce the complex chassis as a single precision part. A robot then unloads the chassis and sends it down a production line where a series of small, high-precision, high-speed robots insert parts, secured either with snap fit, adhesive bonds, solder, and a few fasteners, such as screws. At the end, layers, such as the display and glass, are added on top and sealed in another automated operation. Finally, the product is packaged and packed into cases for shipping, again with robots. "One of the potentially significant things about the Apple announcement is it could send a message to American companies — you can do this — you can make this work here," said Robert Atkinson, president of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation."
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A US Apple Factory May Be Robot City

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  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @04:01AM (#42231783) Journal
    This kind of sentiment is informed by 1920s misinformation. We've already solved the problem of not having any manufacturing jobs by transitioning to a service economy.

    If you still think manufacturing robots are going to cause 50% unemployment, consider the numbers: currently, 9% of the workforce is employed in manufacturing. Even if every single one of them got replaced by a robot and couldn't find a job anywhere else (unlikely), it would still only bring the unemployment rate up to ~17%. That 50% permanent unemployment rate isn't going to be a catalyst that will bring about a socialist economy, sorry. We'll all have jobs as shoe-shiners instead (actually in financial services, hospitality, retail, health, human services, information technology and education, but shoe-shiners is more hilarious).
  • by doug141 ( 863552 ) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @12:31PM (#42234005)
    The way you worded your dad's social security made me wonder if you are aware that current old folks are getting much more than they put in. I've read they hit parity after only 4 years. I looked for a reference and instead found this one saying they average triple what they paid in. [] The comparison to people living like kings are a comparison not to present day rich, but to the rich back in the days before automation. Central heat, hot and cold indoor potable water, autos, etc.
  • by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <onyxruby@[ ] ['com' in gap]> on Sunday December 09, 2012 @12:51PM (#42234131)

    It's from people like my ex-wife. She committed fraud to get on welfare permanently. She gets $600 a month in cash. She gets food covered by the government. She gets medical insurance paid for by the government. She has a brand new three bedroom townhouse that is paid for by the government for housing. Her expenses consist of nothing but her car costs.

    She get's secondary benefits as well. All told she gets $2500 plus in benefits every month and doesn't work or contribute to society in anyway. She routinely takes vacations and weekend trips to places like resorts. She also works freelance cash jobs that pay cash and supplement her income knowing her fraud will never be prosecuted. She has more disposable income every month than I do and I work a full time and part time job. She lives a life of government paid leisure which she feels entitled too.

    She's a welfare queen and blatantly abuses the system knowing that no one will ever hold her accountable. People talk about welfare queens because they know welfare queens.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel