Whose job will Germany take from the comprehensive layout of artificial intelligence robots?

  [Special attention robot]


  At least 18 million of the existing 30 million jobs in Germany can be replaced by intelligent machines and software.

  * 86% of the jobs in the most basic operation jobs can be replaced by robots.

  * Office workers and secretarial workers are the most dangerous, and about 1.9 million jobs will be threatened.

  * Other industries seriously affected are warehousing, postal services and express delivery (1.5 million), retail (1.2 million) and cleaning industry (1.2 million).

  German industrial robots have certain advantages in raw materials, body parts and system integration. Globally, Japan and Europe are the main producing areas of industrial robots. Swiss ABB, Japanese FANUC, German KUKA and Japanese YASKAWA are the world’s major suppliers of industrial robots, becoming the four major families of industrial robot production. In recent years, in order to realize the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, Germany has successively put forward its own strategic plan of industrial upgrading driven by the development of robot field.

  According to the Industry 4.0 plan put forward by Germany at the Hannover Industrial Fair in 2013, through intelligent human-computer interaction sensors, human beings can remotely manage the next generation of industrial robots with the help of the Internet of Things. At the same time, the intelligent factories and intelligent production links in Industry 4.0 need the help of constantly upgrading intelligent robots. This will not only help solve the problem of high energy consumption in the use of robots, but also promote the green upgrade of manufacturing industry and fully realize industrial automation. According to statistics, Germany is the fifth largest robot market in the world and the largest robot market in Europe.

  As early as the 1970s, Germany began the process of "machine substitution". Today, Germany has 292 robots for every 10,000 workers in the industrial field, ranking third in the world after South Korea and Japan. During this period, Germany established its own robot industry and talent echelon through long-term government funding and the combination of Industry-University-Research. Germany also led the European Union to set up specialized institutions to conduct long-term research on the development of robot technology in Europe, and implemented a large-scale research and development plan for civil robots, investing a lot of money to develop robots that can be used in medical care, nursing, housework, agriculture and transportation.

  The prestigious "KUKA"

  Established in 1995, KUKA Robot Company of Germany is one of the world’s leading industrial robot manufacturers. KUKA Robotics has more than 20 subsidiaries all over the world, most of which are sales and service centers, including most European countries and the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, India and other countries and regions. At present, the product line of KUKA robot covers almost all six-axis robots, palletizing robots, high-temperature and dust-proof robots, welding robots, stamping and connecting robots, rack-mounted robots and high-precision robots with all specifications and load ranges. KUKA robot can be used for material handling, processing, stacking, spot welding and arc welding, involving automation, metal processing, food and plastic industries. Users of KUKA industrial robots include: GM, Chrysler, Ford, Porsche, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Ferrari, Harley-Davidson, Boeing, Siemens, IKEA, Swarovski, Wal-Mart, Budweiser Beer, Coca-Cola, etc.

  Kuka industrial robots have also appeared in many Hollywood movies and made a big splash. In James Bond’s film "The New Iron King Kong", a scene is described in an ice palace in Iceland, where a female agent of the National Security Agency is threatened by a KUKA laser welding robot. In the film The Da Vinci Code directed by Ron Howard, it was a KUKA robot who handed the hero robert langdon a password box.

  In 2016, in a man-machine table tennis competition in Germany, the Agilus one-armed robot launched by KUKA launched a fierce battle with German table tennis star Bohr. The world champion of mankind fought against a cold, orange mechanical arm with a racket, attracting global attention. Agile, one of the roots of the word Agilus, means agile itself. Kuka claims that this robot is the fastest in the world, fast enough to return Bohr’s ball from any position. In the initial stage, Agilus one-armed robot quickly took the lead of 6∶0 with its precise movements and hitting the ball, but Bohr also found the weakness of the robot opponent, and wiping tennis, edge ball and high ball became effective means to make enemies. In the end, Bohr struggled to win the game with a score of 11: 9.

  It is worth mentioning that on January 8 this year, China Midea Group announced that it has completed the delivery of shares of KUKA Group involved in the tender offer and paid all the money involved in this tender offer, accounting for 94.55% of the issued share capital of KUKA Group. It remains to be seen what prospect KUKA can bring to the development of robot industry together with China’s manufacturing pioneer Midea.

  "Machine substitution" in high-risk industries

  In the fields of metal processing, electronics, medicine, etc., robots are also engaged in heavy, accurate, repetitive or dangerous work instead of manual work. A few days ago, the Mining-ROX project from Frejborg University of Technology developed a robot named Julilus, which can not only save a lot of money for the whole mining process, but also improve the safety factor of mining. Frejborg University of Technology is the only university in Europe that conducts such research and has a teaching mine. The research and development team hopes to use automated robots to mine, so that miners will not continue to engage in dangerous work. In addition, mining robots can also participate in mine rescue.

  This project is actually a part of Robots in Saxony(ROX), which is a cooperative project of several universities in Germany, aiming at applying automatic service robots to unstructured environments. At present, the Mining-ROX project has two robots: Alexander and Julius (both named after famous German scientists). Bohad Rong, a professor at Frejborg University of Technology, said that Julius can explore under mines with high risk factors, including those where mine disasters occurred, abandoned mines or completely unmanned mines.

  In fact, in the middle and late 1970s, the German government began to implement a policy called "Plan for Improving Working Conditions", which made it mandatory that some dangerous, toxic and harmful jobs must be replaced by robots, and the application of robots was really brought to the market by administrative means.

  A life robot that shines brilliantly

  In addition to being used in manufacturing and high-risk industries, Germans attach great importance to the application of robots in daily life.

  This spring, according to German media reports, Domino’s Pizza announced that it will cooperate with Starship, an autonomous robot startup, to use robots to transport pizza in Hamburg, Germany in the next two months. Starship’s six-wheeled robot is about two feet high, weighs about 40 pounds, travels at a speed of four miles per hour and has a distribution range of one mile. Although the robot can drive automatically, it still needs someone to accompany it to avoid the wrong route. Although Starship is a British company, it has been widely publicized in Germany.

  At the Electronics Show in Munich, Germany in March this year, the Sub1 Reloaded robot developed by German scientists only took 0.637 seconds to crack the third-order Rubik’s Cube, breaking the previous record of 0.887 seconds, which was recorded in Guinness World Records. The record of human cracking the third-order Rubik’s Cube is 4.904 seconds. Sub1 Reloaded contains many microchips, which are like the electronic version of nerves, brains and muscles to form a complete Sub1 Reloaded robot.

  Sub1 Reloaded uses a microcontroller produced by Infineon. This microcontroller is very similar to the controller in the driver assistance system of unmanned vehicles, which can make the machine make "the least response". The "least reaction" plays a greater role in autonomous driving than in restoring the Rubik’s cube. The success of this robot in the Rubik’s Cube will inspire engineers to improve autonomous driving technology and chip processing technology.

  Future employment relationship

  Under the guidance of the concept of industrial digitalization, Germany has continuously improved the level of automation and the utilization rate of intelligent robots, which has had a great impact on the employment field. Statistics show that robots have threatened 59% of jobs in Germany, which has attracted great attention from all walks of life in Germany.

  According to the survey results of the research project "Future Employment Relationship: How Employment will be Affected by Electronic Technology" initiated by Cambridge University, at least 18 million of the existing 30 million jobs in Germany can be replaced by intelligent machines and software. The survey found that the unemployment risk of different jobs depends on the professional division of labor, job level and job nature. 86% jobs in the most basic operating jobs can be replaced by robots, and the auxiliary labor force is the second most threatened job by robots. In absolute terms, office workers and secretarial workers are the most dangerous, and about 1.9 million jobs will be threatened by technologies such as intelligent office. Other industries seriously affected are warehousing, postal services and express delivery (1.5 million), retail (1.2 million) and cleaning (1.2 million).

  As soon as this result was announced, it attracted attention from all walks of life in Germany, which means that in theory, 59% of the employed population in Germany may be unemployed. However, Carlsten, chief economist of Ing-Diba Bank, who is in charge of the investigation, said that "the trend of fully implementing automation may become a reality, or it may just be a mirage". At least for practitioners with high professionalism and scientific research mind, their work is rock solid. Of the more than 240,000 doctors in Germany, only about 1% (3,100 people) can do their work by machines. Equally irreplaceable are chemists and physicists, whose daily work can hardly be replaced by computers. According to the survey, among 46,000 scientists, only about 2,800 people’s work can be done by computers.

  But the reality is still cruel. Last year, German sporting goods giant Adidas announced that it would move its production line back to Europe and America, and Adidas CEO herbert hainer said that it would use robots for production. These production lines moved back to Europe and America originally belonged to foundries in China, Southeast Asia and other places. Heiner said that in Germany, where labor costs are generally high, robots can now be produced 24 hours a day with fewer people. This also means that German robots began to compete with workers in China and Southeast Asia for jobs.

  However, people need not be too pessimistic. German researchers found that in fact, the input of automation and the application of electronic technology may not only threaten people’s employment, but also play a certain role in promoting it. For example, in electronic technology and information industry, with the improvement of industrial level, more and more employees will be needed. After all, it will take a long time for robots to completely replace human work. As far as Germany is concerned, most giant enterprises try to use robots for production work. After all, the manufacturing cost, deployment cost and learning cost of robots are the thresholds for robots to completely replace human work.

  (Berlin, August 26 th, our reporter in Berlin pastoral)