Now, of course, there are improvements that make me wonder if improvements are an improvement.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — As a teenager working for his dad’s construction business, Noah Ready-Campbell dreamed that robots could take over the dirty, tedious parts of his job, such as digging and leveling soil for building projects.Dirt and sweat and muscle have their drawbacks. First there are the clean folks in clean cubicles who almost uniformly seem to know what perfume will humble the stink of sweat but talk more than they walk. Second, muscle doesn't last forever and some security in life is desirable. And there are others.
Now the former Google engineer is turning that dream into a reality with Built Robotics, a startup that’s developing technology to allow bulldozers, excavators and other construction vehicles to operate themselves....
The rise of construction robots comes as the building industry faces a severe labor shortage.
A recent survey by the Associated General Contractors of America found that 70 percent of construction firms are having trouble finding skilled workers.
“To get qualified people to handle a loader or a haul truck or even run a plant, they’re hard to find right now,” said Mike Moy, a mining plant manager at Lehigh Hanson. “Nobody wants to get their hands dirty anymore. They want a nice, clean job in an office.”
But still, my father's satisfaction and my concurrence linger on the air. Dirty work is clean work where clean work is too often dirty, fret-filled and galling. I say this as someone who has lived on both sides of the fence. Painting apartments was one of the cleanest jobs I ever had. Book publishing was, by comparison, one well-dressed, gigantic pit problem.
I'm not trying to play the noble-savage card. I'm talking about actual-factual smiles. How or why it works, I haven't got a clue ... just like smiling.