Star Wars vs The Matrix
The tech and business news media often report on the “rise of the robots.” While there’s no doubt automation is growing rapidly, we believe the reality of robots is much closer to those in the movie “Star Wars” than in “The Matrix.” People and machinery working together is a foregone conclusion in the future.
If you’ve seen the films, you know in “The Matrix” that powerful, sentient machines have enslaved almost all of humanity, with people’s bodies serving as batteries to power the machines. “Star Wars,” on the other hand, takes a different approach, for the most part – picture the ultra-polite C-3PO working side-by-side with Luke Skywalker, offering him helpful advice and completing tasks for him.
While the robots in the SurePods factory don’t have a British accent as C-3PO does – they don’t even speak and aren’t shaped like people – they and our human workers partner to build bathrooms of exceptional quality.
SurePods design experts work natively in Revit for BIM so we can provide pod models for architects to drop directly into their entire building model. Our Revit models translate directly into machine code for our production robots to fabricate many of our production pieces, which reduces repetitive labor and provides better overall tolerances and accuracy for the pods. For example, our CNC machines precision cut wallboard, which is much faster and more accurate than could be completed on a job site using power tools.
Although factory automation is a key part of our production process, people are integral to our success – providing skilled labor and quality control, among other work. Our manufacturing team enjoys a stable and permanent employment arrangement, which helps ensure a high level of commitment to producing top-quality bathrooms.
Contrast this human and machine production process with bathroom construction on a job site. In a typical building project, more than 10 construction trades – including electrical, plumbing and finishing work – are all going in and out of a constricted space, with a high risk of damaging earlier completed work. On-site automation is virtually non-existent, so quality varies greatly.
The next time you’re watching a science fiction movie, remember that factory robots are much closer to the friendly, unassuming and helpful Johnny 5 in the ‘80s movie “Short Circuit” than they are to the violent terminator in that series of movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.