I've written often enough about the dangers posed to our current jobs by a tsunami of automation, robotics and sophisticated machines. The latest example comes from Australia.
An Australian engineer has built a robot that can build houses in two hours, and could work every day to build houses for people.
Human housebuilders have to work for four to six weeks to put a house together, and have to take weekends and holidays. The robot can work much more quickly and doesn’t need to take breaks.
Hadrian could take the jobs of human bricklayers. But its creator, Mark Pivac, told PerthNow that it was a response to the lack of available workers — the average age of the industry is getting much higher, and the robot might be able to fill some of that gap.
. . .
Hadrian works by laying 1000 bricks an hour, letting it put up 150 houses a year.
It takes a design of the house and then works out where all of the bricks need to go, before cutting and laying each of them. It has a 28-foot arm, which is used to set and mortar the brick, and means that it doesn’t need to move during the laying.
Pivac will now work to commercialise the robot, first in West Australia but eventually globally.
There's more at the link.
Houses in the USA are mostly not built of brick, so this invention isn't likely to have a huge impact here; but it will in the rest of the world if it can be commercialized. It's yet another example of automation in the construction industry. I've already seen US paving contractors using bricklaying machines such as this one from a Dutch company.
It's yet another example of how the ever-increasing wave of automation is going to crush many of the jobs on which a lot of people rely to earn a living. It's simply cheaper overall for companies to pay the high capital and maintenance costs of such a machine, compared to the burden of providing a job for human beings. Machines don't need vacations or sick leave, don't take time off because they have a headache or need to deal with domestic emergencies, and don't incur huge overhead costs in terms of health care, workers compensation and other expenses. Furthermore, when politically correct administrations try to add yet more burdens such as unrealistically high minimum wage standards, machines won't be affected by them. They just keep on working.
If your job is one of those in danger of automation, you need to be thinking about retraining yourself and getting into a new career field right away. Far more jobs are threatened than you might think. If you're in any doubt, I highly recommend that you read at least some of the following articles and reports. They're well worth your time, particularly those marked with asterisks at beginning and end.
- A Cambrian moment
- Bill Gates: People Don't Realize How Many Jobs Will Soon Be Replaced By Software Bots
- * Coming to an office near you *
- * How Technology Wrecks the Middle Class *
- Is Your Job Creative Enough to Resist Robot Automation?
- * The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerization? (PDF) *
- Top 15 Jobs Threatened by Technology
- What Jobs Will the Robots Take?