Many of us humans have been fearful of our livelihoods disappearing because robots might take over our jobs. That makes sense; after all, robots are human biomimics. They are programmed to do human jobs, like this robust robot here, wakamuru, who has been trained by Mitsubishi as a home companion and houseworker.
But in Japan, a country whose 370,000 industrial robots make up a healthy part of its work force in good times, industrial production has been reduced by 40 percent during this recession. And that has put an equivalent number of factory robots out of work. The robotic companions and caretakers like wakamuru have been hit as well. The "helpers," are usually sold to Japan's large elderly population, so the loss to the industry's bottom line is even more significant.
What are robots supposed to do when they are out of work? They can't collect unemployment. Most likely, they won't even get to Twitter their friends or check out porn sites, like humans often do when they're laid off.
We can feel sorry for the robots but, at least this time, humans win out. Many Japanese people's jobs were saved by eliminating, at least for now, the jobs of robots.
via Popular Science