Robots are taking over more and more aspects of our lives, and jobs. The latest occupation to perhaps feel threatened by the march of technology is carpentry. For thousands of years, skilled carpenters have lovingly created furniture from wood. However, the next generation of master craftsmen and women may be robots, not humans. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a robot that can create custom-made wooden furniture. They say the robots will not replace humans, but instead will improve safety. The researchers said the goal of their project was to let robots do the more dangerous tasks of sawing and assembling, so carpenters can focus on design.
The MIT team used currently available technology to create what they call the AutoSaw. It differs from conventional robots that are currently used to manufacture the mass-produced, flat-pack furniture many of us buy from giant home-furnishing stores. People will be able to design their own furniture and AutoSaw will cut up the wood with great precision and reduced risk of us losing a finger. Researcher Adriana Schulz said: “Our aim is to democratize furniture-customization. We’re trying to open up a realm of opportunities so users aren’t bound to what they’ve bought at Ikea. Instead, they can make what best fits their needs.” She believes it will empower people to create better-designed furniture.
‘Gender equality is a big topic in today’s society, and one that I feel doesn’t get the right amount of attention. Especially from boys, even before we get to men. This is where it starts: to put it rhetorically, today’s boys will be tomorrow’s men, so making sure they understand what the situation is should be key to the communication. ‘
This is how I originally started this post, but then I realized it didn’t make much sense, or better, it was incredibly biased. So I put it in quotes and started this reflection: “Why did I focus soley on the boys? Isn’t equality about being the same, and so having the same importance?”. The answer is yes, of course, but we have to start from somewhere. The truth is, it is not only the boys who should learn how to not discriminate, but it’s an effort all sides ought to make.
In the lessons with several classes we will speak about gender equality from different perspectives, leading to different ideas, but hopefully the same conclusion: gender equality benefits everybody.