Brother, Can You Spare Some WD-40?
Japan, home to the largest fleet of robots, is letting its machines go idle in the wake of the economic downturn. Demands for robots, both for enjoyment and for serious, have dramatically declined, and the industry may be set back years as a result.
Nearly a quarter of Japan's population is 65 or older. Robots were going to take care of the elderly, keeping an eye on them, looking at cruise pictures and otherwise listening to stories that go nowhere like only a robot can. So now, not only do the Japanese have to deal with their elderly family members, but they also have to deal with an economically unviable workforce, which is made almost entirely of metal.
It's too early to tell, but could this gang of laid-off robots affect us here in America? Will the lack of economic opportunities for these robots usher in the era of cyborg-terrorism we've all been waiting for? Can a population of steel thugs, who cannot feel real human emotion, harm me and the ones I love? Is Barack Obama to blame?
The answers to all of these questions, unfortunately, is yes.