business

Construction robots weld, bolt, lift to beat worker shortage

11 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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11 Comments
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What about inventing robots that can sweep and shovel? Oh yeah, I forgot. Japan does not need them as they are too difficult to program, so they bring in Vietnamese labor to train them to do that instead. Then they can bring the sweeping and shoveling skills back to their home country ot train others. Robots could not do that.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

All very good an all but...bots don't pay taxes. It's not just about the manpower shortage. It's the lack of tax revenue that's the real problem.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Excellent news! Automation and robots are the only future for Japan. Mass immigration is a non-starter

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Good point they don't pay tax. Nor do they consume so again no tax. Don't reproduce (yet). And are only capable of doing 1% of the work? I fail to see the benefits over an actual human with a family. Some industries sure go for it! Construction? The initial cost, on going maintenance costs for a robot dedicated to one type of job that represents only do 1%?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Cricky: Robots do help humans with families. My husband is a welder and is working horrifcly long hours because there isn't enough man power. He is finding ways to cut down his workload by making small auomated changes, but that is only shaving a few minutes off his workload. If robots can do a few small tasks, I am sure that some people are very grateful for it. I know I am.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

How many crew did they use to set up the robots? Looks quite a substantial structure supporting them.

Has anyone done an independent total cost analysis of their efficiency and ROI, including R&D costs, compared to carbon-based lifeforms?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Shave a few minutes at what cost? I'd prefer a share of what it costs to set up, run, maintain. Getting home should be as stated in the contract. If the company has enough money to pay for a robot to achieve a 1% decrease in workload then they must surely have enough to pay more to those humans doing the other 99% of the work. My comment had more to do with cost and benefit particularly as pertains the workers. Home time is a separate issue.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What about inventing robots that can sweep and shovel? Oh yeah, I forgot. Japan does not need them as they are too difficult to program, so they bring in Vietnamese labor to train them to do that instead. Then they can bring the sweeping and shoveling skills back to their home country ot train others. Robots could not do that.

exactly.

All very good an all but...bots don't pay taxes. It's not just about the manpower shortage. It's the lack of tax revenue that's the real problem.

exactly.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

cricky: I agree home that time should be set to the contract, but we all know that can't always be the case on big projects with short turn around. The fact is that there just isn't enough people with the skills in the market to be able to handle the whole workload around the country. Even with extra employees being hired, it is still difficult to get the work done on time. Some companies feel that testing the waters with robotics is the way forward. Many employees are happy with this as some tasks can be simplified, even if it is minimal at the moment. Until schools push people to do trades, companies pay people well for their work and the labor pool increases, robots may be the way forward .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All very good an all but...bots don't pay taxes. It's not just about the manpower shortage. It's the lack of tax revenue that's the real problem.

Your car, when you've one, is merely build by robots. The automotive industry has been using robots longer than any other industry and still has thousands of jobs for the finishing touch, controlling, design, programming and maintenance. The consumer pays the labour and robot costs and the industry pays tax.

Enough tax for future labour developments when people in the developed world are forced to work shorter with an eventual need for a basic income paid from that tax.

Today many potential employees already can't meet the demand in skills and education for 'simple' and 'less simple' work that can be done by robots.

Even some Republican politicians see UBI coming one day in God's Own Country :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If Shimizu and Kuka Robotics want a joint opportunity then they should create a train track laying robot.

Australia really needs a fast rail network on its east coast as a start, but eventually around the entire circumference of the country since all the capitals, bar one, reside within relatively cost proximity of the coastline along with many regional cities. The costs in terms of labor to do this are known to be prohibitive. If the workers can even be found and the time frame for completion, many decades, which further blows out costs dramatically. Develop a train track laying robot and you can look forward to a very lucrative contract with the Australian government ;)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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