“Robots Take Away Subhuman Jobs”

(p. A21) Joseph F. Engelberger, a visionary engineer and entrepreneur who was at the forefront of the robotics revolution, building robots for use on assembly lines and fostering another, named Seymour, to handle chores in hospitals, died on Tuesday [December 1, 2015] in Newtown, Conn. . . .
. . .
Mr. Engelberger was a force in robotics from its early days, in the 1960s, when his company, Unimation, in Danbury, Conn., developed the Unimate, a robotic arm that would greatly accelerate industrial production lines.
. . .
Labor unions and some corporate managers resisted robotics at first, worrying, as Mr. Engelberger later put it, “that the robots can take all the jobs away.”
He disagreed with that notion.
“It’s unjustified,” he told The New York Times in 1997. “The robots take away subhuman jobs which we assign to people.”
Unimate proved to be more precise than the human hand in completing some repetitive and dangerous tasks. Automobile makers employed the arm to weld and move vehicle parts, apply adhesives to windshields and spray-paint car bodies — jobs that had posed chemical hazards to workers.

For the full obituary, see:
JEREMY PEARCE. “Joseph F. Engelberger, a Leader of the Robot Revolution, Dies at 90.” The New York Times (Thurs., DEC. 3, 2015): A33.
(Note: ellipses, and bracketed date, added.)
(Note: the online version of the obituary has the date DEC. 2, 2015, and has the title “Joseph F. Engelberger, a Leader of the Robot Revolution, Dies at 90.”)

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