Prepare children for robotic worldPublished 12:01am Wednesday, January 30, 2013
We Sci-Fi fans have read many stories and seen many movies in which man had developed machines that took over the world. This is no longer science fiction. We have been the architects of our own obsolescence in the world of manufacturing.
We have constructed robots in our factories that do the repetitive tasks of people. These are not the two-legged steel gadgets that walk and talk. These are metal arms that move to paint, weld, move objects, etc. They do many things from welding large automobile frames to soldering intricate parts into cell phones.
Their exact movements are made with special motors called “stepper motors” which respond to pulses from a computer. (The movement of the second-hand on a battery operated watch or clock is made by a stepper motor.)
The only way that America can compete in manufacturing with worldwide low wages having no benefits is with the use of robot technology. Machines don’t earn paychecks, they don’t receive benefits, they don’t go on strikes, and they never take vacations.
Unfortunately, as machines take over, many middle income people will be out of work, permanently.
The only ones remaining in our factories will be a minimal number of workers that are necessary to program and maintain the machines.
This is not a new occurrence. Many of us have seen this scenario unfold first-hand in the farming industry during our lifetimes. First, farm tractors came that replaced the mule teams and plow boys. Next the harvesting machines came that replaced the human cotton pickers, corn pullers and sugar cane cutters.
Then, along came airplanes that could fly over the crops at amazing speed to dispense insecticides, fertilizer and herbicides. Shortly after herbicides were introduced, new varieties of food and fiber plants were developed having resistance to herbicide. By simply spraying “over the top” of crops, weeds were annihilated and hoe choppers were no longer necessary. Large farms could now be managed with only a few chosen farm workers who ran the machines.
The displaced farm workers were destined for a tragic plight. The government moved them into shoddily built homes and apartments and gave them a paltry income.
Having little or no education and few job skills, the unemployed farm workers had few choices other than to turn to crime to augment their hand-to-mouth existence.
I write this, not to disclose my feelings of impending doom for the middle-class American factory worker, but to plead with parents of school-age children.
Parents must see that their children are prepared with proper job skills such as training in industrial technology and robotics.
Knowing of the fate of the displaced farm workers, parents must take action now to prevent such tragedy from befalling their children.
They must not just sit and pray for the best. Remember, God helps those who help themselves.