If you are counting the jobs that used to be completed by actual living, breathing human workers that are now done by machines, you can add another job to your list: water quality testing.
In Japan, the Taihei Environmental Science Center (TESC) has developed a new robotic water testing system that automates the entire process of water testing. The system is made up of a series of 3 individual robots: the first of the 3 collects the sample, the next injects the appropriate agitators, and the last places the sample in an incubator.
This automated process is faster and more accurate than manual labor. TESC claims their robot can perform 50 tests an hour, 1.5 times faster than the average set of human workers. The robots use QR codes to identify samples, eliminating much of the risk humans incur by sometimes misreading labels. This system is designed to detect bacteria like E. coli, but it can be configured to test for other substances as well.
Those alarmed by machines taking over our jobs will be happy to know that these robots actually improve the lives of workers. TESC does a lot of water testing at night, and the company’s employees are happy that now the robots can take over in the evening while they go home and relax. A more content and energized workforce alone is already worth the investment in this new robotic system.
And this is indeed a hefty investment we’re talking about: the robot will cost $250,000 - $350,000. While that is an expensive price tag, the upfront cost will be covered in full by the savings in work hours in 5 – 10 years for facilities that do a lot of water testing.
TESC is targeting environmental watchdogs and food manufacturers as their main customers for this new robot. They expect to sell 4 or 5 units in the 2014 fiscal year and expand into the global market in 2015 and beyond.Source: DigInfo TV