Wednesday, July 15, 2009
News of the Moment: Japan Lays Off Robots
In an attempt to save their human workforce, Japanese companies began putting their robotic laborers on standby. Since Japan's industrial production "plummeted...and with it, the demand for robots", future plans to create mechanized pets and companions are put on hold. (New York Times)
But Japan's robots aren't just used for frivolous entertainment or heavy lifting. With almost a quarter of the population comprised of elderly citizens, robots are necessary to "replenish the work force and to help nurse the elderly." However, tough economic times deem it unfeasible for care providers to fork over thousands of dollars for expensive robots. (New York Times)
Nevertheless, it's not entirely bad for the robotics industry. As soon as the market improves its performance, robots will be back in the workforce.
I'm sure some wouldn't mind a little circuit break.