The summer job is a way many young adults pass the time between school years. Sometimes employment involves menial work for the purpose of saving money for the next school year. Other times, summer work means internships to prepare for entering the workforce (hopefully). In either case, summer jobs mark the passage from carefree days to the realities of adulthood. This summer robots, like many twenty-somethings, are coming of age.
In many cases, with the exception of a 25,000-volt robot scare crow (Scare Bear), robots are assisting in roles traditionally reserved for aspiring youngsters. For example, this summer you may have seen robots assisting on golf courses or taking on the role of bellboys in hotel lobbies. This week, we’ll take a look at some of the places robots are dwelling in the summer of 2014.
In the 1980 comedy classic Caddyshack, young caddies were threatened with losing their jobs to golf carts. Flash forward thirty-four years and they could now be susceptible to Caddy robots. Las Vegas-based CaddyTrek is looking to take robots to the links. The CaddyTrek is essentially a motorized pushcart that uses radio frequency and ultrasound to follow its owner. Unfortunately, it does not make club recommendations nor will it venture into the water harzard. I wonder what a Caddyshack movie remake would look like with an android Danny Noonan? Hopefully better than Caddyshack 2.
From farms and vineyards to office parks, there are seemingly countless R2-D2-style robots finding their way into the workforce. Botlr, a three-foot-high delivery droid/butler (get it?), is the latest such instance. Botlr is being introduced by the Aloft Hotels chain. Despite the fact that the robot’s speed maxes out at four miles per hour, it can deliver small items, including snacks, sewing kits, shower caps and soap, to any room in the hotel within three minutes. The best news for people looking to save money, in lieu of a tip, Botlr only accepts performance feedback and will dance upon receiving a rave review.
When you read that a robot’s inventor does not want his invention to be mass produced, you’re probably dealing something outside of the fringe. This is certainly the case with a creation dubbed “Scare Bear.” A Turkish farmer fed up with bears and other wild animals decimating his crops dreamt up the robot, which uses 25,000 volts of electricity through a swinging chain to keep bears at bay. No word on its effectiveness, but Scare Bear’s beard and yellow jacket are ripped out of some b-movie nightmare. Whether this scarecrow (or is it bearcrow?) is real or fake, I, for one, recommend staying far, far away.
There’s not much time left before fall, but students and educators still have an opportunity to try a free download of the SOLIDWORKS Student Engineering Kit summer edition. Remember that the offer, much like summer, will not last forever. Click the banner to get started!