In the future, the world will be run by robots. It sounds like a dystopian world view, wherein artificial intelligence rises and takes over the world, but it’s not. The future, as it were, is slowly creeping up on us.
Adidas has opened its first factory in Germany with a robot majority. Only 10 humans will run the day-to-day, but there are plans for human staff to be eliminated in the future. This is called lights out manufacturing, a process that’s been fully formed since 2001. There aren’t many known operations of this kind, though. FANUC, a Japanese robotics company in Yamanashi Prefecture, has been running a robot-only manufacturing facility since 2001, while Philips also uses robots to make electric razors in the Netherlands.
Think about that for a second. You enter one of these facilities, and there isn’t a human. No breathing, just mechanical tinkering. Joan isn’t there to set baked goods on a table or share pictures of her cat, and you’ll never see Cheryl wearing her latest outlet mall fashions. That’s kind of spooky. (For some, it may be a blessing.)
Basically, the factory is trying to keep up with the demands of you, the consumer. So they’ve created what they’re calling a “Speedfactory,” which will specializing in making shoes that combine “a machine-knitted upper and springy “Boost sole.” So, these.
Since we’re not really equipped to duel with a specialized robot, we’re just gonna let them finish.