Tag Archives: robots

It’s time to start talking seriously about Basic Income

or: How we can save ourselves from the coming robot revolution

Let’s start with the bad news: The robots are stealing our jobs.

That may sound like science fiction hyperbole to many of you, but it really shouldn’t — it’s been happening for years, and there are now hundreds of jobs disappearing every day. No, I’m not talking about a scenario where WALL-E rolls up and kicks you out of your cubicle. The way that robots are stealing our jobs is by automating the work we do today.

Here’s how it happens: as technology progresses, machines are invented capable of doing work that used to require significant human time and effort. Since it’s typically cheaper to have a machine than a person on staff, this eliminates jobs that formerly existed to get that work done — the positions are “automated.” Automation eliminated many auto industry jobs in the 1980s when robot-driven car assembly was developed, and now jobs like store clerks and baristas are being threatened by smarter and cheaper machines. More than three million transportation industry jobs are at risk of displacement by the widespread adoption of self-driving vehicles, which will be present in 30 US cities by the end of 2016

US military chooses spy robots over men, boosts drones’ budget for 2015

The US military has increased its expenditures on drone programs for the year 2015. Research and development budgets have also been increased, though other military branches experience a considerable budget cut.

The US military has cut the general defense budget and introduced money-saving plans to stop traditional aircraft programs, while increasing expenditures on the drone fleet.

This means that MQ-9 Reaper program will provide the Air Force with 12 new attack drones. RQ-4 Global Hawk program has the largest funding increase comparing to 2014. At the same time, the MQ-1 Predator, and RQ-7/RQ-11/RQ-2 Shadow, Raven and Blackjack programs have seen a big budget cut, though, in general, the Pentagon requested $59.7 million more for its drone programs for 2015……

US military chooses spy robots over men, boosts drones’ budget for 2015

Flying Robots 101: Everything You Need To Know About Drones

How do you define a drone? What’s the difference between an RQ-9 Reaper and a quadrotor? Your pressing drone questions, answered

When an unmanned aerial vehicle reportedly flew within about 200 feet of an airliner earlier this week, outlets like Time and CNN chose to accompany their stories with a picture of the RQ-9 Reaper–this, despite that initially, there was no concrete description of the unmanned aircraft.

It’s not terribly surprising that news outlets would default to an image of the Reaper; it’s perhaps the most widely recognized drone in operation. But as more details of the incident surfaced, this simplification proved incredibly wrong. The unmanned craft is now described as a 3-foot-long quadrotor–a four-blade copter–which is wildly distinct from the 36-foot-long Reaper; a bit like the difference between a Johnny Seven O.M.A and an AK-47. That’s when I realized: drones are really confusing. Even to people who get paid to write about them! So here’s a primer on what is and isn’t a drone, the differences between common types of drones, and a bunch of other stuff you need to know to sound smart talking about these things:

Where does the term drone come from?

When unmanned flying vehicles were first introduced to the U.S. military, the ability to control them from afar wasn’t very sophisticated. So the first drones flew along pre-set paths, operating off an internal navigation system. This led to servicemen informally referring to any machine that flew without human control a “drone,” and Germany still has some like this in service today. That said, the “not being controlled by a human” part of the definition has since been lost to everyday use.

What exactly are drones?

“Drone” as a category refers to any unmanned, remotely piloted flying craft, ranging from something as small as a radio-controlled toy helicopter to the 32,000-pound, $104 million Global Hawk. If it flies and it’s controlled by a pilot on the ground, it fits under the everyday-language definition of drone…..



Inform yourself, so you can inform others. Why grow alone?