I really really want one of these.
I'm a fan of robotics in production, when they're used to increase capacity instead of to cut man power. We had payroll rich manufacturing & it had to be leaned out, that sucks for those caught in the squeeze. Our production is as lean as it's ever been & it's suffering now due to a lack of scalability & an inability to hit the ground running. Those are China's advantage, more than any other. They can be producing in a matter of a couple weeks where our regulations drag a ramp up out for months even years. They can scale up very quickly because of the size of their population. We can streamline our regulations for faster ramp ups & we can multiply our workforce with robotics. There are industries, such as the one I spent my career in that will be decimated by robots, robot cooks will take millions of jobs in the next decade. As much as I enjoyed service work, there's no future & no retirement in it... production can pay you well enough to retire & using robotics to multiply the man just means more money made with a more reliable product produced.
I have it in my mind to build a US made eBike that takes full advantage of the looser US regulations. 1st I'll build custom bikes for a premium to fund the shop set-up & then from the custom frames I'll derrive frames of small, medium & large to accomodate riders with an inseam from 26" to 38". Welding sized frames means product testing that's not required for custom frames & that places a far higher demand for weld consistency, consistency that can be expected from a robot. Trying to cut retail costs for sized production frames also means robots are desireable. A man using a welder might weld 2 even 4 frames a day, but with a single robot that man is now making 6, 8 even 10 a day & every weld is flawless. There's not another man losing his job to the robot so the robot isn't taking a job away from anyone, it's simply improving the capacity of the worker who needs to produce more to be competitive.
Here's my dream robot at the moment, "the Lean Arc Welder"
It can make one man in the same space 3 to 4 times as productive. Multiplying men costs a lot more than wages, there's multiple stations do ing the same job, the tools to set them up, the energy to run them, the cost of the floor space they occupy. 3 robots & 3 men each making their own size frames, 1 man running the powder coating dip & frames are produced in the US for costs so attractive they can compete with Asian manufacturing as long as diesel is above $2.