Virtually There : 



  • Chinese appliance company Midea is acquiring a majority stake in Kuka, a big player in the industrial robotics sphere. China's rapidly increasing labor costs combined with a commodities glut and irregular patterns of production demand makes buying into a deep fleet of robots a logical (if politically tricky) bet. While adding manufacturing jobs is a standard political trope in election cycles, in reality the future of production will belong to the countries and companies that are most willing to make aggressive moves away from human labor in factory roles. 


Technology Odds & Ends: 

  • As part of their sprawling research and hardware efforts, Google has developed a "gigapixel" camera to capture the fine detail and texture of artwork. It scans across from detail to detail with robotic positioning, using a combination of laser and sonar to measure distance and focus accordingly. It goes to show how Google's mission of organizing the world's information has grown in breadth and depth over the years, reaching for as much omniscience as the state of the art (and R&D budgets) will allow. 


More next week.