Gotta Love FANUC

I love FANUC industrial robots. 


They are made by a secretive company in Japan and they are #1 in workplace automation worldwide! 


They have over half a million installed industrial robots around the world.


Their robots are on assembly lines making everything from “cars and smartphones to beverages and drugs.”  They also are in Tesla and Amazon…so you know they are pretty much everywhere. 


FANUC has customers in 108 countries supported by 263 service locations. 


Their robots are made by…that’s right other robots…80% is automated


These robots are strong, fast, and precise, and they can do dangerous work. 


This company is the future of jobs, productivity, efficiency. 


But of course, people are still the brains behind the brawn.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Don’t Just Sit There

Really liked this robot (Cubebot) in the store.


Love the colors and that you can change the pose in all different ways. 


This robot is pretty darn cute!


It’s funny in this sitting position though.


Just want to say: 

Don’t just sit there, do something!


Probably not that long before robots will be all over the place.


We’ll wish for just a little privacy from the darn things, just like from our 24/7 computer gadgets that we can’t let go of now.


Yes, we’re hopelessly dependent on the technology–it’s so helpful and we love it, but we can’t turn it off. 


They won’t be sitting for long. 


Robots–big and small, alone and in swarms, male and female, strong and intricate, smart and simple, worker and homemaker, doer and helper, companion and lover, where will it stop–it won’t. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why Isn’t The U.S. Keeping Up Militarily?

The United States is ranked as the most powerful country in the world:


But the U.S. spends more than the next 7-8 countries COMBINED!(See below chart from Forbes 2016)


In fact, military spending is more than half of all U.S. federal discretionary spending. 


So the question is why are we spending so much more than everybody else, is the United States getting its money’s worth, and most importantly are we able to defend ourselves? 


The U.S. defense budget is going up and has been approved at $717B for 2019. 


All the other 28 NATO countries together spend less than half ($296B) as much as the U.S. alone. 


If you add NATO spending as a complement to the U.S. then the total spend on our mutual defense approaches $1 trillion!


Russia ($69B) China ($146B), North Korea ($6B), and Iran’s ($16B) military spending in total pales in comparison at just $237B.


NATO as a whole is outspending Russia + China + North Korea + Iran by a factor of 4 times yet these countries are still considered major threats to us!
Despite all the truly incredible brave, hard working, and excellent men and women that serve with distinction in our military, 


Therefore, again why is it that the U.S. is spending more on what others seem to get for cheaper?  Is there significant fraud, waste, and abuse in the system?  Are we as a rich capitalistic nation simply getting fat, lazy, and stupid?  


Notwithstanding the outsized spending by the United States, incredibly from today’s Wall Street Journal, there is another article about our inability to defend ourselves:

“These are admissions that the U.S. cannot proportionally and equally defend itself in space, cyber, and response to tactical and nuclear weapons except through the threat of escalation and intrusion into other domains.”

Some poignant examples given:

– Our stationary land-based nuclear missiles are no match for Russia and China’s mobile-based ICBMs.

– Our ten busiest U.S. ports do not have an adequate defense against an underwater nuclear missile launch.


China and Russia variously are beating us out in:

  • Quantum Communications
  • Anti-Satellite Weapons
  • Directed Energy 
  • Hypersonics 

In fact, it was just reported that China conducted its 8th hypersonic test of a plane–with this one said to capable of Mach 10–and that it is capable of carrying nukes! 

Further, our carrier group fleet and land forces are at risk with respect to Russia and China’s hypersonic weapons.


Of course, EMP weapons can fry our electrical grid and a large cyber attack could disable our critical infrastructure.


Let’s not even talk bioweapons–think Black Plague from the Middle Ages that wiped out 30-60% of Europe. 


Yes, some of these are asymmetric warfare, but why are we still thinking and fighting so kinetic and conventionally. 


If we are fighting the wars of yesteryear instead of the battles of today and the threats of tomorrow then what good is our military investments and assets.


To become a more capable fighting force that is less vulnerable, more capable of defending this country, and making better use of our large investment dollars here are 10-steps we need to take to transform our military; we need to transition as follows:

  1. From static land-based nuclear missiles to a fully mobile platform.
  2. From vulnerable fleets of large ships and planes to “unstoppable” swarms of miniaturized lethal drones. 
  3. From a preponderance of earth-based kinetic weapons to space-based energy directed weapons. 
  4. From having to generally choose between speed or power to using the power of speed as an “unstoppable” force of nature. 
  5. From projecting a time and space bound visible presence to a persistent invisible existence.
  6. From attempting to defend limited points of presence to establishing a “impenetrable” umbrella shield of multi-layered defenses.
  7. From reactively identifying and stopping cyber threats to proactively hunting and destroying them. 
  8. From knee-jerk instinctive putting of human lives in harm’s way to matter-of-factly sending milbots (military robots) to the front lines. 
  9. From relying on the heroics and genius of individual human brainpower to harnessing in realtime “the collective” augmented by artificial intelligence into a hive.
  10. From relying on escalation of a “bigger, badder gun” to being able to fight capably in every battle arena, win in each and dominate holistically. 

Over $700B per year should buy us a lot of defense, hopefully in the future we can really use it to defend ourselves. 😉

Impact of Hyperwork on Family

I am seeing this all the time now… 

Parents of little children, or even older children, who are too busy working to pay much, if any, attention to their families.

Call it a disease of the industrial revolution + information technology. 

Whether people worked on the assembly line making widgets or nowadays on the computer and smartphone answering their bosses and colleagues compulsively–it’s become a global obsession. 

On one hand, with the impending robot and AI revolution taking over jobs, people need to be grateful to even have a job to earn a living for the families.

On the other hand, with the connections to each other and our work 24/7, the depression-era saying of:

Brother, can you spare a dime?

Has morphed into:

Brother, can you spare some time?

Yes, we all need to be responsible adults, earn a decent living and pay our bills. 

But in the end, it’s not money or things that we give to our families that is the most important.  

I would argue money and things are the least important, and what is truly most precious is the love, time, and attention you give to yours. 

As the old saying goes:

Money can’t buy love.

But time and attention given to your loved ones can build meaningful relationships that last a lifetime and beyond. 

Yes, of course, people need to work to earn a living and productively contribute something to society, but it is also true that work is used as an excuse to run away from parental and familial responsibilities. 

It’s easier to give an Amazon gift certificate or a Gameboy then to actually spend the afternoon with the kids. 

These days, people say ridiculous things like:

I love going into the office to get away from home. 

But you can’t run away from your problems at home–you need to work on them and solve them.

The diabolical murderous Nazis used work as a tool to enslave, torture, and exterminate their victims as the sign over the gate of the Auschwitz (and many other) concentration camps read:

Arbeit Macht Frei  (or Work Sets You Free)

But as we all know inside, true freedom is being able to give generously from your time and effort to your loved ones, and slavery is not being able to let go of your work. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Drones Vs. Man

Drones.jpeg

I took this photo of this man and drone in Florida. 


Look how close this machine is flying to his head!


Aside from the surveillance capabilities and offsetting privacy issues, these are bringing some dangerous fighting capabilities anywhere and everywhere.


Just today, I read about how the U.S. shot down an armed Syrian drone–presumably made and deployed by Iran!


I guess it’s not proprietary technology anymore!


As drones and robots become better, faster, and cheaper and ubiquitous on the battlefield and on main street, who will be (relatively) safe anymore? 


Unless of course, my drones are stronger than your drones!


It’s going to be a war of technology and machines more than ever before. 


Small ones like insects, swarms of them like engulfing locust, and large ones like Godzilla. 


What was once human flesh against a steel blade, arrow, and then bullet is now going to be an superfast artificially intelligent, armed to the hilt “man of steel” (and they don’t miss) against just regular everyday people.


Don’t hurt your hand punching that Robot in the face. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Killer Bots–Massive and Nano

Bots.jpeg

There are big deadly weapons to worry about, such as weapons of mass destruction that come on an ICBM or even in a suitcase bomb to frightening armies of massive killer robots.


And then there are small nanobot weapons to worry about–which don’t sound like much, but they could be the ultimate killer machines.


About 10 nanometers make up the width of a human hair, so we are talking about microscopic or bug size weaponized drones. 


Nanobots can be manufactured or scarily can be self-replicating. 


They can fly alone or in massive swarms. 


They can surreptitiously enter/exit and carry out their missions virtually undetected. 


Whether surveillance or delivering a mini-nuke or a toxin.


Nanobots could function like a biological weapon killing millions–targeted or indiscriminately. 


Cambridge University forecasts a 5% chance that nanotech weapons could cause a human extinction level event by the year 2,100


Soon wars will not be fought by people any longer–by rather by robots and nanobots.


People are too fragile for fighting and war against ruggedized and militarized bots that are designed for one purpose only…to kill, kill, kill. 


Terminators are coming–from massive to nanoscale–and mere humans will be dogmeat to these killing machines.


Add in a cyber warfare component that will turn off 21st century civilization leaving us to fend as if we were back in the stone ages, and overpopulation is the last and funniest joke any of us will ever tell. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)