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How Robots Will Transform the 2020s

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How Robots Will Transform the 2020s

Reason March 7, 2022
OtherTechnology

This article is adapted from The Cloud Revolution: How the Convergence of New Technologies Will Unleash the Next Economic Boom and A Roaring 2020s by permission of Encounter Books.

The service bot will revolutionize warehouses, hospitals, farms, and maybe your home.

There are now some 120,000 warehouses globally, and another 50,000 are likely to be added before 2025. Over the next few years, more robots will be deployed into these warehouses—the logistics market—than in all other application categories combined, including farming, medicine, and home use. Just as the 1960s saw the mechanization of industry, with an accompanying boom in productivity and prosperity, the 2020s will be the dawn of the robotification of services.

Industrial robots came into use in 1961 when General Motors (G.M.) installed a simple robotic arm on its New Jersey production line. The machine had been invented by Unimation, a company founded by the father of robotics, Joseph Engelberger—a self-professed Isaac Asimov enthusiast. By 1969, G.M. rebuilt its Lordstown, Ohio, factory with an array of Unimates to perform welds, and the facility soon achieved a twofold leap over its former production rate, making it the most productive factory in the world. (That same factory would be sold in 2020 to startup Lordstown Motors, with plans to make electric trucks.) Automobile manufacturers everywhere were among the first and fastest to embrace industrial robots.

Continue reading the entire piece here at Reason

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Mark P. Mills is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute; a partner in Cottonwood Venture Partners, an energy-tech venture fund.

Photo by kynny/iStock

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