Spray-on battery, 3D printing

June 29, 2012 · Posted in abundance, prediction · Comment 

Rice Spray-on battery (Credit: Neelam Singh/Rice University)Rice University demos a process to spray-on batteries. This is Another step towards fully automated fabrication.

It was easy to predict that 3D printing would be able to make electronic parts. The process Rice uses probably doesn’t actually need 3D printing to work but it fits the concept. Multiple layers of different materials are sprayed on a surface to create a battery.

Circuits are already being made using normal 2D printers by varying the thickness of the traces to create resistors and conductors. By using a 2 or 3 different materials the full range of electronic parts could be printed directly into the circuit so a robot could literally print a copy of itself. Stratasys and Optomec have already printed electronics.

The spray-on battery will make it easier to build batteries of different shapes and sizes. It will also make it possible for nearly anyone to make batteries anywhere in the world. This can drastically reduce the real costs in terms of time and materials.

Rising Income Inequality & Shifting Identities – The Specialist & The Omnivore

May 14, 2011 · Posted in abundance, economics, prediction · Comment 

Rising Income Inequality & Shifting Identities – The Specialist & The Omnivore
An excellent explanation of the effects of the transitions from economy to abundance. As technology increases, ownership of things that make things (physical capital) will be more important and relationships will eventually become the only scarce good.

Ham boning robot, Abundance Report

February 11, 2011 · Posted in abundance, innovation · Comment 

Meat cutting is a dangerous, physically stressful, and tedious job. Replacing human meat cutters with robots is all around better if the humans have an income.

The representative repeatedly says the robots can cut oddly shaped soft objects. He is making clear that cutting ham is not the only use. The robot can cut a wide variety of foods but also non-food. They’ve likely chosen ham boning as their first task because the size makes it easier than smaller or more delicate food like fish and improving ham processing is higher value than vegetables. Defining the goal properly and finding the best entry to the market is very important for innovation success.

The makers of the Hamdas robotic meat cutting machine, Mayekawa, also make many environmentally friendly energy saving innovations. They are looking at the full range of interconnected innovations. They are using what Predictive Innovation® calls a Future Map. Each of their innovations builds on part of the other thus making each one less expensive and less risky to develop and higher value.

Many of the comments to the video bring up the concern jobs being eliminated. How can human meat cutters have an income when the job of cutting meat is done by machines? The common answer of making or repairing robots is fatally flawed. Repairing robots will not require as many people as the jobs the robots replace. The best way for meat cutters to have an income when robots are doing the work is to own robots. This way the people are still meat cutters, they just aren’t doing the physical work.

Another alternative for displaced workers is to do something else that robots makes possible. This unfortunately will likely displace other workers. Automation replaces people in any task that is done more than once. The solution is to focus on things that can’t be replicated. Personal experiences are one thing that can’t be duplicated. Satisfying those desires will be large growth area over time. In the short term, anything that helps individuals and small groups own the machines that makes things will be a crucial part of making the transition from economics to abundance.

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