Mercedes ‘Robots’ Can’t Keep Up

Mercedes-Benz offers the S-Class sedan with a growing array of options such as carbon-fiber trim, heated and cooled cupholders and four types of caps for the tire valves, and the carmaker’s robots can’t keep up. With customization key to wooing modern consumers, the flexibility and dexterity of human workers is reclaiming space on Mercedes’ assembly lines. That bucks a trend that has given machines the upper hand since legendary U.S....

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‘Telepresence’ Robots Help at the Office
Jan24

‘Telepresence’ Robots Help at the Office

Milwaukee — Shortly before New Year’s Day, a ten-person team combed through the 18-story building on Northwestern Mutual’s downtown campus here seeking an elusive culprit: the poinsettia plant. At home, Amy Lamb, who works in the insurer’s software development and support area, was waiting to hear the results of their search to determine when she could return to the office. For six years, Lamb has been forced by a severe poinsettia...

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The Smart-Tech Future Beckons
Jan10

The Smart-Tech Future Beckons

Las Vegas — Look around. How many computing devices do you see? Your phone, probably; maybe a tablet or a laptop. Your car, the TV set, the microwave, bedside alarm clock, possibly the thermostat, and others you’ve never noticed. Much of that computing isn’t doing much while segregated into individual devices. But many of these gadgets have the potential to get smarter by connecting to their fellows, which in turn could open the door...

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Obama Talks Link Between Robots, Jobs

Washington — In one of his first attempts at selling the just-completed Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Obama made a statement about what’s actually ailing the American worker. Offshoring might have sent a lot of jobs overseas in recent years, he told the radio show Marketplace, but the current headwind is robots. “Frankly when you look at job loss and lost leverage, automation and technology has probably contributed more than...

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Social Robots Want to Help at Home
Jul26

Social Robots Want to Help at Home

When most people think of robots, they either think of hulking Terminators or the types of dumb industrial robots taking part in a future robot uprising. But there’s another class of robot that’s also gaining traction — social robots that cost less than $1,000 and are designed for the home. They are more WALL-E than Terminator, and are meant to be personal companions and even “one of the family.” For all the stories about the perils...

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