The anxiety of workers in the world these days is that their jobs are going to be taken by a robot who can do their job more efficiently and better than they can. Some jobs are being replaced by robots but The Guardian reports that car maker Mercedes-Benz is opting to pair their robots up with "more capable humans".
Allegedly, the robots are unable to cope with the different car customisation options that are offered by the company. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class's customisation features include, "carbon-fiber trim, heated and cooled cupholders and four types of caps for the tire valves," according to Bloomberg.
Head of production at the factory in Sindelfingen, Markus Schaefer says, "“Robots can’t deal with the degree of individualization and the many variants that we have today." They argue that robots lack the dexterity and attention to detail that humans have. Robots within car factories is not a rare practice but it is becoming more clear in the car industry that robots assisting humans will become the norm compared to full fledged robot takeovers of assembly lines.
According to ComputerWorld, Audi has been testing 'telepresence robots'. This would involve being able to contact mechanics from over the world to collaborate in the assistance of reparing cars in Audi factories in real time. The company hopes that by the end of 2016 there will be at least one assistance robot in the 292 dealerships in the United States.
Is this Mercedes-Benz's way of escalating their prices for a more handmade, tailored-suit premium kind of car? Or is it a viable option for a harmonious future between mankind and robots? Time will tell. What cannot be underminded, however, is the role that robots are playing in the efficiency of creating cars in the world today.