Chapter 11

Automating with Robots


check Reviewing robotic technology

check Collaborating with cobots

check Welding with WALL-E, spraying with S.I.M.O.N., and conveying products with C-3PO

check Stacking parts and material

check Turning out the lights

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.


I’m a child of the ’60s. And even though robots were still the stuff of laboratory research back then, they were a big part of my childhood. I called my first dog Rosie, in honor of The Jetson’s highly-efficient housekeeper. An Astro Boy poster hung over my bed. I lamented the fact that the Robinson family, though hopelessly Lost in Space, couldn’t bother with naming their own robot, preferring instead to use the dehumanizing title, “Class M-3 Model B9 General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Control Robot” (“Robot” for short).

Later there was the 1973 film, Westworld. The Terminator movies, all five of them. Silent Running. Blade Runner. RoboCop. Short Circuit. Star Wars. I once had ...

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