Rethink robotics robots
Underwater robots, overhead flights to study the physiography of Indian Monsoon.YouTube Screengrab/Rethink Robotics

Rethink Robotics, the company that invented floor cleaning robot "Roomba" and roadside bomb disposal robot "PackBot" has come up with new robots that will work alongside humans in factories.

Traditional robots can easily take over duties from human labourers. However, Rodney Brooks, the founder of "Rethink Robotics" has said that they take over 18 months to be installed, a lot at high-priced costs. Furthermore, the systems of the robots need highly skilled operators and technicians as well.

On the contrary, Brooks' latest creations "Baxter" and "Sawyer" can easily be trained by ordinary people just like they use smart phones.

"We're trying to change the nature of robots in factories," Brooks said.

In 2012, the company began selling "Baxter" for $25,000. It was modelled to skillfully work alongside humans in factories, able to switch tasks and even easily move around the factory floor once the tasks were switched.

The other robot "Sawyer" that costs $29,000 has just gone on sale around the globe.

Rethink Robotics recently made a deal with "Shanghai Electric" that will distribute the robots in China.

However, some people have remained sceptical regarding the performance and the role of robots.

The author of "Rise of the Robots", published in May 2015, Martin Ford, has believes that robots will influence the global economy in a drastic way beyond manufacturing.

He said that in the advent of robot culture, white collar jobs are equally vulnerable and more likely at risk.

Talking about the inevitability of robots putting lots of jobs out of place, Ford said that people can't educate themselves out of it.

"Top level, highly creative, highly skilled jobs will survive. But most people do average stuff. Even if we tried we couldn't educate every person to be a rocket scientist or brain surgeon," he added.

Brooks, on the other hand, is hardly bothered about the fear. Instead he thinks that robots will improve human's lives.

"I think there's a misconception amongst the wealthy people in the bubble that there are endless rows of people wanting dull, boring jobs in factories. It's not true," he said, adding that robots will become more prevalent in the society once the baby boomers age and needs more self-driving cars and home health-care, BBC reported.

Brooks, who founded Rethink Robotics in 2008, thinks the robots will be particularly helpful for taking care of the elderly people and in disaster response that will see robotics taking a big leap in the society.

"Companion robots weren't any use in Fukushima," Brooks said. "And elderly people don't want companion robots. The elderly want control of their lives. They want dignity and they want independence."

Manufacturers from around the world often complain about no one, especially the young people, willing to do the dirty work needed in factories.

In the United States, the average age of a factory worker is now 56. While in China, increasing costs and higher standards of living has made it very difficult for manufacturers to recruit and more importantly, retain labourers, BBC reported.

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