These robots are scary in a different way from the humanoid kind.
A company called Somatic has developed a commercial bathroom cleaning robot. Watch how it operates in various bathroom environments, and it's hard not to be impressed:
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It's worth noting that it doesn't appear to actually scrub anything, so I do wonder what it does in the case of extreme messes. Perhaps it's too gross to depict in video.
In any case, the scary part is that this thing is cheaper to use than hiring a human being to clean the bathrooms. Somatic leases them, with no long-term contract required and no down payment, for "$1k a month for an 8hr a day / 40hr a week shift." Loz Blain over at New Atlas crunched the numbers, concluding:
"That's roughly $5.68 an hour, sneaking comfortably in under the horrifying $7.25 federal minimum wage in the USA."
Leasees need to provide closet space for the 'bot to "live" in, and access to water and electricity so it can refill and recharge itself. If located on a different floor from the cleaning jobs, no problem, it can take the elevator by itself.
Most obviously the thing never calls in sick, never creates problematic Facebook posts and never says anything to other employees that require contacting HR. Between that and the lower costs, it's bound to be attractive to companies.
It also makes me wonder: Will we eventually see a decline in HR managers, and the rise of RR managers?
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