Feeling worthless? Think a robot could replace you?Heres how you are worth well over a £1 million…

We’ve all seen the standard 6 axis robots in a factory.

Each one of those axis has a servo and a servo drive. As a combination they are about £1,500. They will also need a PLC to control them. An industrial grade PLC at the cheaper end is about £1,000. So lets ignore the cost of the metal work and frames and installation and we can see that impressive looking robot is £10,000 in just the motors,drives and control hardware with its 6axis.

In the human body rather than axis, we have a pair of muscles operating together to form an axis. Lets assume for now the £1,500 servo drive combo we find has greater than IP67 dust and water protection like the human body, as well as power/torque/speed/precision comparable. Lets also assume that the noise and EMF interference of our servo is exceptional too like the human body so we really have a steal at £1,500.

There are 650 named skeletal muscles and since each one acts as a pair to form a servo axis, a human could fairly reasonably be replicated on the skeletal muscle front by 325 servos or about £487,500. Lets also make the assumption that our £1,000 plc can infact control 256axis which is quite a bit for a PLC, you need 2 of them so £489,500.

Lets assume you are fortunate to have a pair of working eyes. There are 130 million rods in the human eye and one rod is about the equivalent of one pixel. Currently the Hasselblad H6D-100 has a resolution of 100 megapixels some 30% less than a human eye but we will use that for now. It retails at about £30,000 so with a pair of eyes you would be worth £60,000 even if you could not process them. Usually you need a vision processing system to go with the cameras, lenses to adjust for distances and humans again have self lubricating and cleaning system for the lens mechanism. The refresh time for our eyes is also 25frames a second minimum. Currently there is no vision processing hardware that can do 130megapixel image processing at 25frames a second but 32megapixel (8k) video processing hardware is £40,000 so we will use that for now. Machine vision is very good at tracking but not so good at identifying as every adult has had at least 18years of object identification. With these assumptions lets just say £100,000 to replicate a humans vision by automation. Standing at about £600,000 so far for an adult humans value.

Add a few more sensors like sound,taste and smell which is currently not quite technically developed enough.

And then you still have 1.6trillion skincells… each one being a heat,light and pressure sensor.

We have not even touched in the communications network between humans, nor the memory capacity, energy efficiency and mobility.

The only way a marvellous machine such as yourself could be even more impressive is if it could replicate itself taking the best of the previous versions…

Now is it the best use of a million pound machine such as a human when a £100,000 machine could do the same job?

Does Automation Really Lose Peoples Jobs?

The man in the picture has had his job replaced by a machine.
His job was to knock on peoples doors to wake them up in time for work. If he has to wake people for for 8am and it takes him a minute to knock on the door and walk to the next house by the time he has done 60 houses the last person will be 60minutes late. It also means he only has 60minutes of paid work for the entire day.
The machine he was replaced by was an alarm clock. I’d think by making alarm clocks,selling them and repairing them he would have more income and with people being on time to work the village would be more productive and happier as no arguments who should be woken up first.

The Luddites held this view over 200years ago and in these times of COVID 19 and uncertainty people are often understandably worried about job security.

Every product has a limited time in which a business can manufacture it. The business may run out of time because the product goes off as in the case of food, it may run out of time because the patent elapses as in the case of medicines, in the case of technology the item gets surpassed such as film for cameras, or falls out of favour such as fidget spinners or power balance bands. If the product has no shelf life limit the market will eventually saturate so it is still a race for the business.

In addition a business who can make 1million products a year will do worse than a business who can make 1million products in 6months and shut for the next 6 due to the business overhead costs.

This shows the race for the business to make as much of their product as possible while the product is in demand and profitable so the business can reinvest their profits into development & marketing for the next product/patent/trend.

Where a product manufacture can speed up,safety and quality improved by automation it leads to better profits for the business. It is a race an competition.

So now what happens to the people who were manufacturing the product?

The people manufacturing the product will have spent hours looking at it, knowing how it can be improved, how production can be sped up and made more efficient from the way its packed to reduce transport costs to common quality issues. They can be redeployed into product development,marketing,research, obsolescence prevention, machine maintenance and feeders, machine teachers, cost control and even just as machine minders.

In our next post we will look at just how valuable a person is to be able to replace them completely with automation.

IR35 for small businesses summary

Having a lot of clients right now being worried about IR35.

So here is the good news.

If you have less than 50people and your turnover is either under 10million or balance sheet under 5million  you are completely exempt:D

Drinks and donuts all round I think for small biz.

Here is the link on .gov https://www.gov.uk/guidance/april-2020-changes-to-off-payroll-working-for-clients

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