A robot that can pick fruit off an assembly line could signal the end of low-skill jobs routinely staffed by illegal aliens.
The prototype robot, developed by online grocer Ocado, uses a robotic hand in combination with computer scanning and can successfully pick fruits and vegetables according to ripeness, something that even human shoppers fail to do at times.
“People have tried suction cups, robot hands with three fingers… What we are trying to do is to actually mimic the human hand,” said Ocado spokesman Alexandru Voica. “The gripper is based on air pressure, which controls the movement of the robotic fingers.”
“What we are trying to do is combine computer vision – being able to recognise products by looking at them – with the control aspect which is the gripping aspect.”
Eventually the robot will learn to pack other things such as wine, toiletries and detergent.
Additionally, Ocado is also developing a robot maintenance worker called SecondHands who can help maintain a warehouse.
This is a major breakthrough in robotics because scientists are now simply exploiting an adaptable design they already know will work: the human hand.
It’s a throwback to Leonardo Da Vinci who routinely developed successful inventions by mimicking designs created by nature.
And the robots would take away many labor jobs companies illegally – and routinely – hire illegal aliens to do.
Employers are already transitioning some tasks from human laborers to automation. For example, after President Trump took office, California farmers fearful of the coming slowdown in illegal immigration decided to start investing in technology that could replace unskilled workers.
“Farmer Kevin Herman ordered nearly $600,000 in new equipment, cutting the number of workers he’ll need starting with the next harvest,” reported the Associated Press. “Herman, who grows figs, persimmons and almonds in the nation’s most productive farming state, said Trump’s comments pushed him to make the purchase, larger than he would have otherwise.”
“Plus, Herman said, he’s heard too many workers question whether they’ll return from their holiday trips to Mexico. ‘It’s stories like that that have motivated me to become efficient and upgrade my equipment,’ Herman said.”