By Soulskill from Slashdot's finally-something-we-can-exploit-for-cheap-labor-again department
For years, the U.S. has been hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs to China because of the vastly cheaper labor pool. But now, several different technologies have ripened to the point where U.S. companies are bringing some operations back home
. 3D printing, robotics, AI, and nanotechnology are all expected to dramatically change the manufacturing landscape over the next several years. From the article:"The factory assembly that the Chinese are performing is child’s play for the next generation of robots—which will soon become cheaper than human labor. Indeed, one of China’s largest manufacturers, Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group, announced last August that it plans to install one million robots within three years to do the work that its workers in China presently do. It found Chinese labor to be too expensive and demanding. The world’s most advanced car, the Tesla Roadster, is also being manufactured in Silicon Valley, which is one of the most expensive places in the country. Tesla can afford this because it is using robots to do the assembly. ... 3D printers can already create physical mechanical devices, medical implants, jewelry, and even clothing. The cheapest 3D printers, which print rudimentary objects, currently sell for between $500 and $1000. Soon, we will have printers for this price that can print toys and household goods. By the end of this decade, we will see 3D printers doing the small-scale production of previously labor-intensive crafts and goods. It is entirely conceivable that in the next decade we start 3D-printing buildings and electronics."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's except-for-the-few-I-take-home-to-experiment department
Diggester writes "While Americans worry every year about getting a flu shot or preventing HIV/AIDS, the deadlier silent killer is actually Hepatitis C, killing over 15,000 people yearly in the U.S. since 2007 — and the numbers continue to increase as the carriers increase in age. While there is no vaccine, there is hope in nanoparticle technology. The breakthrough came from a group of researchers at the University of Florida, creating a 'nanozyme' that eliminates the Hep C 100% of the time; before now, the six-month treatment would only work about half the time. The particles are coated with two biological agents, the identifier and the destroyer; the identifier recognizes the virus and sends the destroyer off to eliminate the mRNA which allows Hep C to replicate."
Reader Joiseybill adds a link to coverage in the IEEE Spectrum
, and points out that the 100 percent success rate, while encouraging, is so far only in the lab.Read Replies (0)