Closing the circle

Closing the circle

Basically the idea is to create robotic tailors to replace the people who now sew garments together in third-world countries.

From the article: "Details of exactly how these high-tech tailor's dummies work are closely guarded, pending patent protection, but the basic idea is that a network of actuators inside the dummy will push and pull a flexible outer shell into different shapes. The dummy will then be used as a template to locate pieces of fabric in the appropriate position while robotic sewing arms buzz around stitching the pieces together, much like the spot-welding machines found in car factories. To what extent Leapfrog is a response to genuine market need, as opposed to a piece of industrial policy intended to keep the European garment-making industry alive in the face of competition from low-wage countries, is not yet clear."

Note the derisive tone. More advances like these and third world countries may stagnate or at least slow in growth (China decidedly NOT included - search "lynn vanhanen wealth of nations" or Richard Lynn's most recent book, if political correctness is not your fancy). And the demand for third world immigrants will similarly recede; in Japan, due to the universal disapproval of immigration, the cost of labor is high, so robots are used more often (eg, robots pull the curtains in hotel rooms). The Japanese are also (culturally) more comfortable with robots.
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