Happy Friday! Hope some warmer weather will find you, wherever you are this weekend. Headlines this week include a use case and update for one of the modern trends in business Technology, plus a story on how Olympic gold medals are won in the cloud. Let’s take a look:
On my way home from work the other day, I heard a story on the radio about a Massachusetts furniture maker using robots to build dressers and nightstands. It struck me because it wasn’t the usual context through which we discuss Robotics. This isn’t a major corporation or car manufacturer with a massive budget to invest in robots. It’s a family owned company called Moduform. Furthermore, these robots are solving a problem that we don’t normally consider: What if nobody wants this job?
“People don’t want to stand on a production floor for eight to 10 hours a day picking up a piece of wood and putting it through a sanding machine,” owner Josh Weissman told NPR.
In this case, the furniture maker was only getting a few applications for job openings, and the robot can fill the void if it’s programmed correctly.
Weissman says it hasn’t taken anyone’s jobs; it’s simply freed his employees to focus on customer service and other business goals.
The jury is still out on the impact it will eventually have on the job market. ZDNet published a report on robotics this week jam packed with information on the size of the industry, use cases, and where it’s headed over the coming years.
Gold Medal Technology
The Olympics have always been competitions of strength, speed, endurance, and skill — the winners need natural ability and relentless training to take the gold.
But, as records fall and Athletes improve in the modern age, it turns out they’re training smarter, not harder.
For example, the 2016 US Olympic team used senior sports technologist Phil Cheethum to help optimize training for athletes across multiple sports.
“Radar technology, which sends out a doppler radar pulse, can look at the shot put as it’s flying through the air and give us velocity, take off height, distance, and several other parameters,” he explained. “That’s one that helped us win the gold and silver in Rio.”
He says they upload every training data point to the cloud so that athletes and trainers can analyze it every day.
Smart technology isn’t just for world class athletes, either. Under Armour just released a connected shoe so runners can track their own personal data.
The Change Management Award Goes To…
Now all you have to do is get them to put down the Nintendo controller and pickup the coding robot.
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