I took some liberties with this illustration…
In 1920, the Czech play “R.U.R.,” or “Rossum’s Universal Robots,” was written by Karel Čapek. The story followed a manufacturer who makes a race of servants that ended up revolting, killing everyone in their wake. Karel wrote about these sentient beings and first coined the phrase “robot,” which derived from an Old Church Slavonic word for “forced labor.”
Now, it may come as a surprise to you, but over the years, robots have in fact killed many factory workers, worldwide. More often than not, it’s by shear chance, but the facts are there and as robotic technology continues to advance in factories, one debate has risen: “are we signing our fate?”
All this may sound silly, but for some reason, a recent New York Times article tied into a piece I’ve wanted to write about how you should buy handbuilt wheels. Not just to support your local bike shop, but because the more our industry relies on “R.U.R.s”, the less people it employs… Also, robots will kill us all, dude.
It’s just a thought. Click on below for a visual representation of these OSHA-documented robot fatalities and head over to the New York Times for an interesting piece on the robot labor force.