Rise of the Machines in the auto industry

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5259GM NASA R2-8″ /GM-NASA-R2-8-620×412

NASA and General Motors are teaming up to launch the first human-like robot to space later this year. Robonaut 2 or R2 was developed jointly by NASA and General Motors to assist astronauts repairing satellites and space stations like Dextre.

NASA hopes R2 will prove useful in space as a second hand for the astronauts or perform outer space dangerous repairs.

“The use of R2 on the space station is just the beginning of a quickening pace between human and robotic exploration of space,” said John Olson, director of NASA’s Exploration Systems Integration Office. “The partnership of humans and robots will be critical to opening up the solar system and will allow us to go farther and achieve more than we can probably even imagine today.”

And GM hopes that one day R2 will replace most of the auto work force, so no more UAW that GM has to deal with. What about UAR2 (United Auto Roboworkers?) Is this GM’s way of getting back at the UAW for suing it for $400 million?

“Our strategy is to develop technologies that can fundamentally change the way we manufacture cars and trucks”, said Kenneth D. Knight, executive director GM Manufacturing Assembly & Automation Center. “This includes a focus on developing ways to further support our operators.”

GM’s manufacturing engineering team is already working to identify potential applications for R2’s array of vision, motion and sensor technologies that will assist workers in manufacturing operations.

Throughout the years, we have seen the increase usage of automation in the auto industry. Soon by the year 2030, about 50 percent of the current auto work force will be replaced by robots like R2. OMG! “Terminator” is eminent.