Automation is associated with job loss for many Americans, but is it possible that this industry can unlock a new wave of prosperity for the middle class?

Earlier this month, a Pew Poll revealed that the majority of Americans are worried about a future where they are displaced by robots in the workplace.

 

A chart showing statistics on how people feel about automation. Many are worried
Data statistics: Sentiment towards automation. Source: Pew Research

For many, this worry is very real. Everyone from factory workers to fast food employees are feeling the pressure. These robots, currently developed by large corporations, are part of a trend; money and power keep concentrating in the hands of the few. But is it possible that automation can help reinvigorate the middle class instead of continuing this downward slide?

We think so!

At Kambria, we’re working to distribute the power and wealth of robotics to everyone! That’s no small task, but through a decentralized, global network, we believe we can build an economy that rewards those who contribute to technological advances while also providing income for manufacturers who bring these designs to life and access to those who can benefit most. The result will hopefully be a wave of paid opportunities and unburdened lives for people across the world.

With a distributed, open source economy, we believe a new middle class will emerge. This economy will empower a generation of tinkerers, inventors, developers, manufacturers and everyday people contributing to a society while earning a solid income. 3D printing alone is already jumpstarting growth for small business and Kambria will rapidly accelerate that trend.

 

Image of a 3D printer farm from the side, sitting in a row
Some of our 3D printing facilities. 3D printing allows small business and entrepreneurs to manufacture and prototype in-house, reducing cost and improving product quality.

Leveling the economic playing field and giving everyone access to this technology also comes with a ton of real world benefits!

 

Gif of the Atlas Robot, designed by Boston Dynamics
The Atlas Robot, winner of the DARPA challenge, was designed by Boston Dynamics to help first responders clear dangerous buildings

In natural disasters, robots will help sandbag spillways, put out wildfires, clear buildings and more; ensuring that our first responders stay out of the most dangerous environments while more effectively helping those affected by tragedy. There is also tremendous potential in environmental remediation (check out this amazing TED talk on the subject). The cliff notes: humans have left a huge, unsustainable environmental footprint on the planet with all sorts of negative externalities, and robots offer some radical solutions.

 

Photo of a water beetle, designed to combat pollution
This tiny ‘water beetle’, designed at Bristol University, can eat and digest pollution which power it as it skims across the surface of the water

 

There are all sorts of other unpleasant and dangerous tasks to automate, like unclogging sewers and clearing minefields. Reducing risk of human injury or exposure to harmful substances is worth the investment, especially when the return is spread far and wide.

 

Photo of the quince robot
The Quince robot, created by International Systems Rescue Institute, assisting in the nuclear waste cleanup at Fukishima

Another phenomenon in dire need of solutions is our aging population and the projected shortage of caregivers to look out for them. Japan is already using robotics to better the lives of a “graying population”.

Our telepresence robot, Ohmni, is playing a huge part in this movement and we are so excited to see where it goes!

 

Photo of a telepresence robot in the livingroom, and an elderly woman chatting with her family on the robot.
The Ohmni Telepresence Robot gives seniors independence by making it easier for friends, family and caregivers to get in touch remotely.

With Kambria, we are launching the world’s first open source, collaborative development platform for robotics, allowing everyone to create robotics solutions together. To jumpstart development we are sharing all assets from our Ohmni Robot. So, anyone with some know-how can make one on the cheap or upgrade it to open doors, pet your cat, fly? Who knows! Honestly, we can’t wait to see what you all do with it!

If you want to learn more about the Kambria platform you can check out our first post or visit kambria.io. Next week, we are going to start diving into the more technical aspects of our platform. Until then, you can always reach out and say hello here on Medium or elsewhere (TwitterFacebookTelegramDiscord). We love hearing from you!


Also published on Medium.

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Kambria Content Writer

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