The rise of the robots already happened, household and farming edition
Economists are at the moment discussing the rise of the robots. Yawn. Robots are rising and have done some for some time. The economic discussion about this is a little late. Robotic milking , which enabled dairy farmers to increase the scale of their farm without hiring expensive labour, has been a whopper since about twenty years. And not just the self-employed embrace this technology. I remembered that I once read that there are more household robots than factory robots, a meme which led me to this awesome ´Vacuum cleaners market research´ site with no doubt very good reports like ´Vacuum cleaners in Saudi Arabia´. And with this graph which shows that millions are sold. On Wikipedia one can find a very extensive list of producers (Japan leading the pack). Just like radio in the thirties sales will defy the crisis and households show dynamic adaptions to new technology. Robots changed our life already. Just think of these solar powered lawn mowers! Gadgets like these might help us to cope with the rising number of very old people.
Graph 1. Volume and value of robotic vacuum cleaner sales in the USA and Europe