Carrier to ultimately cut some of jobs Trump saved

Carrier to ultimately cut some of jobs Trump saved – Dec. 8, 2016 by Chris Isidore   @CNNMoney December 9, 2016: 8:16 AM ET ‘;

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But that has a big down side for some of the workers in Indianapolis.

Most of that money will be invested in automation said to Greg Hayes, CEO of United Technologies, Carrier’s corporate parent. And that automation will replace some of the jobs that were just saved.

“We’re going to…automate to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive,” he said on an interview on CNBC earlier this week. “Is it as cheap as moving to Mexico with lower cost labor? No. But we will make that plant competitive just because we’ll make the capital investments there. But what that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs.”

The decision to keep Carrier’s furnace manufacturing operations in the U.S. instead of moving them to Mexico will save about 800 jobs out of the 1,400 at the plant, at least in the near term. The company declined to say how many of the plants 800 remaining jobs could be lost to automation, or when.

Related: Robots threaten these 8 jobs

The threat that automation poses to jobs a big concern for Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers union Local 1999, which represents the Carrier workers.

“Automation means less people,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” on Thursday. “I think we’ll have a reduction of workforce at some point in time once they get all the automation in and up and running.”

Still, automation is the only way that a plant in Indiana that pays about $20 an hour can compete with Mexican plants where workers earn $3 an hour.

Related: Carrier to raise prices on furnaces and air conditioners

The number of U.S. manufacturing jobs in the U.S. has declined sharply thanks in large part to more efficient factories.

“You can’t just blame cheap labor [outside the U.S.],” said Dan Miklovic, principal analyst with LNS research. “Certainly many of the jobs that we’ve lost, especially in more sophisticated industries, it’s not so much that they’ve been offshored, but it has been automation that replaced them. We use a lot more robots to build cars.”

Related: The manufacturing boom Donald Trump ignores

All together, U.S. factories are actually producing more products today than they did in the post-World War II era, according to the Federal Reserve’s reading on manufacturing output. Output at U.S. factories is up 150% in last 40 years. But U.S. manufacturing jobs have plunged by more than 30% in that same period. And automation is a big reason why.

And it’s not a trend that’s going to end with Carrier or even with manufacturers.

A recent study by McKinsey & Co. said that 45% of the tasks that U.S. workers are currently paid to perform can be automated by existing technology. That represents about $2 trillion in annual wages.

CNNMoney (New York) First published December 8, 2016: 4:14 PM ET

Terms & Conditions apply

NMLS #1136

http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/08/news/companies/carrier-jobs-automation/index.html

The Enterprise and Industrial Virtual Reality Market Will Grow to $9.2 Billion by 2021, According to Tractica

BOULDER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Leveraging customized and expensive equipment, enterprise virtual

reality (VR) has been in use for a number of years for military

training, civil flight training, and industrial 3D modeling. But now

cheaper, mass-produced consumer-grade VR is coming to market, a trend

that will have significant ramifications for the enterprise sector.

According to a new report from Tractica,

the enterprise market for VR hardware and content will increase from

$592.3 million in 2016 to $9.2 billion worldwide by 2021. The market

intelligence firm forecasts that training, simulation, and education

applications will be the key drivers of this growth, but enterprise VR

content categories will also include virtual prototyping and 3D

modeling, public entertainment attractions, and medical therapy.

“Cheaper, more readily accessible consumer-grade VR equipment is opening

up new enterprise use cases, some of which have vast addressable

markets,” says principal analyst Mark Beccue.

Beccue adds that a broad range of industry players, both new and

established, are aggressively working to develop applications leveraging

this new consumer-grade VR ecosystem, aiming squarely at the enterprise

market.

Tractica’s report, “Virtual

Reality for Enterprise and Industrial Markets”, provides global

market forecasts for the period from 2014 through 2021 for annual unit

shipments and associated revenues for VR hardware and content in the

enterprise and industrial sectors. The analysis covers HMDs, along with

other VR equipment such as motion capture cameras, displays and

projectors, and hand tracking devices, as well as software applications

and content creation tools. The report also includes in-depth profiles

of 22 key industry players in the enterprise VR market. An Executive

Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

About Tractica

Tractica is a market intelligence firm that focuses on human interaction

with technology. Tractica’s global market research and consulting

services combine qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to

provide a comprehensive view of the emerging market opportunities

surrounding Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, User Interface

Technologies, Wearable Devices, and Digital Health. For more

information, visit www.tractica.com

or call +1.303.248.3000.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170227005394/en/Enterprise-Industrial-Virtual-Reality-Market-Grow-9.2

Carrier to ultimately cut some of jobs Trump saved

Carrier to ultimately cut some of jobs Trump saved – Dec. 8, 2016 by Chris Isidore   @CNNMoney December 9, 2016: 8:16 AM ET ‘;

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But that has a big down side for some of the workers in Indianapolis.

Most of that money will be invested in automation said to Greg Hayes, CEO of United Technologies, Carrier’s corporate parent. And that automation will replace some of the jobs that were just saved.

“We’re going to…automate to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive,” he said on an interview on CNBC earlier this week. “Is it as cheap as moving to Mexico with lower cost labor? No. But we will make that plant competitive just because we’ll make the capital investments there. But what that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs.”

The decision to keep Carrier’s furnace manufacturing operations in the U.S. instead of moving them to Mexico will save about 800 jobs out of the 1,400 at the plant, at least in the near term. The company declined to say how many of the plants 800 remaining jobs could be lost to automation, or when.

Related: Robots threaten these 8 jobs

The threat that automation poses to jobs a big concern for Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers union Local 1999, which represents the Carrier workers.

“Automation means less people,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” on Thursday. “I think we’ll have a reduction of workforce at some point in time once they get all the automation in and up and running.”

Still, automation is the only way that a plant in Indiana that pays about $20 an hour can compete with Mexican plants where workers earn $3 an hour.

Related: Carrier to raise prices on furnaces and air conditioners

The number of U.S. manufacturing jobs in the U.S. has declined sharply thanks in large part to more efficient factories.

“You can’t just blame cheap labor [outside the U.S.],” said Dan Miklovic, principal analyst with LNS research. “Certainly many of the jobs that we’ve lost, especially in more sophisticated industries, it’s not so much that they’ve been offshored, but it has been automation that replaced them. We use a lot more robots to build cars.”

Related: The manufacturing boom Donald Trump ignores

All together, U.S. factories are actually producing more products today than they did in the post-World War II era, according to the Federal Reserve’s reading on manufacturing output. Output at U.S. factories is up 150% in last 40 years. But U.S. manufacturing jobs have plunged by more than 30% in that same period. And automation is a big reason why.

And it’s not a trend that’s going to end with Carrier or even with manufacturers.

A recent study by McKinsey & Co. said that 45% of the tasks that U.S. workers are currently paid to perform can be automated by existing technology. That represents about $2 trillion in annual wages.

CNNMoney (New York) First published December 8, 2016: 4:14 PM ET

Terms & Conditions apply

NMLS #1136

http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/08/news/companies/carrier-jobs-automation/index.html

DCT Industrial Trust® to Present at Citi 2017 Global Property CEO Conference

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DCT Industrial Trust® (NYSE: DCT), a leading real estate

company, today announced that Philip L. Hawkins, President and Chief

Executive Officer, will present at the Citi 2017 Global Property CEO

Conference. The presentation is scheduled for 8:50 AM ET on Wednesday,

March 8, 2017. The presentation will be webcast live and will also be

available for replay on the Investor Relations section of the Company’s

website at www.dctindustrial.com

or at http://www.veracast.com/webcasts/citigroup/globalproperty2017/35303234678.cfm.

The webcast replay will be available until June 4, 2017.

Click

to Tweet: DCT to present at Citi 2017 Global Property CEO Conference

on March 8, 2017 Details at: http://bit.ly/2mghdZA

@DCTIndustrial

About DCT Industrial Trust®

DCT Industrial is a leading real estate company specializing in the

ownership, development, acquisition, leasing and management of

bulk-distribution and light-industrial properties in high-demand

distribution markets in the U.S. DCT’s actively-managed portfolio is

strategically located near population centers and well-positioned to

take advantage of market dynamics. As of December 31, 2016, the Company

owned interests in approximately 74.0 million square feet of properties

leased to approximately 900 customers. DCT maintains a Baa2 rating from

Moody’s Investors Service and a BBB from Standard & Poor’s Rating

Services. Additional information is available at www.dctindustrial.com.

Click

here to subscribe to Mobile Alerts for DCT Industrial.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170228006662/en/DCT-Industrial-Trust-Present-Citi-2017-Global

Automation can revitalize the U.S. workforce

In the face of growing workplace automation, a number of commentators have painted a grim future for American workers. But most human capital leaders see a much brighter future– one where automation helps revitalize U.S. manufacturing and increases the demand for skilled workers.

According to global talent management firm Randstad Sourceright’s survey of over 400 corporate HR leaders, automation and robotics are likely to have a positive impact on U.S. business growth in 2017, and will be one of the driving forces behind new hiring trends over the next several years. 

Regardless of how you feel about robots, the move toward automation and artificial intelligence cannot be stopped.  About 15 percent of global HR leaders say that robotics completely transformed their businesses in 2016, and more than double (31%) expect automation to have an even greater influence in 2017.     

Rather than feeling threatened by this new technology, nearly two-thirds (65%) of the HR leaders we spoke with said they see artificial intelligence and robotics having a positive impact on their businesses over the next three to five years.  Across all the major industry sectors surveyed, respondents were optimistic about technology’s ability to reduce costs, improve quality and increase output.

It is easy to assume that these productivity gains are made at the expense of workers.  In reality, this technology actually has increased demand for flexible, mobile workers with skills and agility that machines are not even close to matching.  While 26 percent of those surveyed said their businesses increased the use of automation and robotics in 2016, over 34 percent said they hired extensively over the same period just to keep up with company growth.

In fact, the HR leaders we surveyed indicated that a scarcity of skilled workers was driving employment demands in certain areas–like marketing, sales and IT/technical–where robotics will likely never displace the advantage of human intelligence.  Indeed, well over one-third of respondents anticipate hiring more workers in these areas over the next year.

But workers with the right combination of skills and experience are hard to come by.  Many workers are structuring their work hours in ways that allow them to work many different jobs, across several geographical locations.  As a result, more companies are rethinking their talent management to account for more short-term, offsite workers.  Of the HR leaders we surveyed, more than two-thirds (66%) said they are considering moving toward a talent management model that would more easily integrate contingent workers.  They see the shift toward flexible talent as a sound strategy that can help companies access a larger pool of talent, such as parents with young children and retirees who may not want a traditional 9-to-5 job. 

For some commentators, the investment in automation and contingent employees signals an upheaval in the economy that will not benefit American workers.  But that perspective may be short-sited. In fact, automation and robotics can make U.S. manufacturing more cost-competitive, while increasing the number of high-paying, skilled jobs available for humans.  Instead of 50 foreign workers being paid rock bottom wages to complete a job by hand, the same job will be accomplished by one skilled U.S. worker running a robot and earning a middle-class salary.  This combination of increased automation and a more mobile, contingent workforce can reduce manufacturing costs and make it easier for companies to build their factories in the U.S.  The end result is a better educated, higher paid American workforce.

Change can be difficult. We are witnessing a major shift in the way business does business.  But most HR leaders see technology as providing workers with new opportunities (and also with new priorities). These recent changes in workforce management need not be seen as the catastrophe some suggest.  If Randstad Sourceright’s 2017 Talent Trends Report is any indication, robots are far more likely to benefit American workers than replace them.  

Rebecca Henderson is the CEO of Randstad Sourceright, one of the world’s leading human resources providers.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/02/11/automation-can-revitalize-u-s-workforce.html

Automation for the People: The Public, Technology and Jobs

A 2012 research brief by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee at MIT renewed an old debate over the effect of new technologies on employment levels. They argued that, counter to the prevailing belief that new technologies and automation simply shift jobs into new sectors after a period of disruption, instead rapid improvements in technology over the past decades have left some workers completely behind, a trend that will continue to accelerate as computers capabilities expand. But what does the public think? Do Americans see technological threats to employment, and have their views changed since the days when robots first began replacing line workers in factories? From the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research archive:

More machinery, fewer jobs?

The U.S. public has been asked about the effect of new technologies and automation on jobs since the early fifties, with pollsters showing particular interest in the issue during the high unemployment in the 1980s. Trends through 1999 show that the country is often evenly split on whether greater use of workplace technology increases or decreases employment, with variation in responses both over time and by question wording. One of the most negative responses was a 1983 poll that found 56% disagreed that computers and factory automation will create more jobs than they will eliminate, while only 39% agreed. In contrast, 34% in 1989 believed that scientific and technological changes cause unemployment because people’s jobs are replaced by machines, while 45% said scientific and technological changes increase the total number of jobs over the long run.

2015-06-09-1433854827-3168268-Perceptionsofeffectsoftechnologyonjobs.gif

Current public opinion leans slightly towards a positive assessment of the effect of technology. A majority in a 2015 CNBC poll said that technology has more benefits than drawbacks to the economy, because it provides services and products to consumers at lower prices, though a substantial minority say that the drawbacks of replacing workers outweigh the benefits. A 2012 Pew poll found that 40% of Americans believe new technologies have increased the number of jobs in the U.S., while 32% think they have decreased the number, and 21% say they’ve made no difference.

The most recent poll on this issue points to potential shifts in public opinion with future technologies. A 2015 Monmouth poll about artificial intelligence found 72% of the public believe having machines with the ability to think for themselves would hurt jobs and the economy, among the most negative responses in the history of polling on the effect of technology on employment.

Specifically, is tech to blame for today’s unemployment

Questions that ask specifically about whether technology is to blame for current unemployment or underemployment have also found the public divided, though in recent years perhaps more inclined to lay substantial responsibility at the feet of automation. In 2013, a question with four-way response categories found 69% of the public put a lot or some of the blame for good paying jobs being hard to find on technology replacing workers.

2015-06-09-1433855076-4078116-automationslide2updated.gif

Overall importance of technology in the economy

However, despite ongoing concern about the effect of technology on employment in particular, Americans have consistently been positive about the effect of technology on the economy overall, and in fact have seen technological innovation and development as vital to the country’s economic interests. For example, a 1983 Cambridge Reports/Research International poll found that 48% strongly agreed and 40% somewhat agreed that the future prosperity of the United States depended on more and better technology. In a 1996 Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard Economy poll, 70% of Americans said the increased use of technology in the workplace was good for the economy. In a 2010 Allstate/National Journal poll, 79% said that information technology was extremely or very important to creating economic growth in the U.S.

So do the unemployed just lack skills?

The public’s generally positive views about the effects of technology on the economy do not necessarily conflict with their willingness to blame for current unemployment on workplace automation. The public may share the views of economists who argue that technology is disruptive in the short-term, but creates jobs in the long run. In this view, unemployment is caused by displaced workers lacking the skills for the newly available jobs, a situation that rights itself with time, training, and education. However, the public does not appear to see this disconnect between skills and jobs as the underlying cause of unemployment.

In a 1982 poll, 51% believed lack of jobs was the main cause of unemployment, only 21% believed it was lack of skills, and 26% that people just didn’t want to work. In 2010, an even greater proportion of the public believed there were no jobs available for the unemployed. Seventy-nine percent of the public said the main cause of unemployment was a lack of jobs, only 12% thought it was people lacking skills, and just 7% that people just don’t want to work.

2015-06-09-1433855188-9298056-Slide3.GIF

Despite concerns about the effects of technology on jobs overall, very few people today are concerned about losing their own jobs to technology. In the 1980s, concerns were higher. In a 1984 Hearst Corporation poll, 29% said they were very concerned about computers or robotics threatening their job in the future, and 17% said they were somewhat concerned. A 1993 Gallup/CNN/USA Today poll, however, found only 5% thought technology could eliminate their jobs completely in 5 or 10 years. Over half (56%) believed technology could change the nature of their job, and 38% expected no effect.

Only 13% in a 2015 poll were concerned that their own job could be replaced with technology, at least in the near future. But a 2014 poll of the unemployed found that 30% said technology replacing jobs was at least a minor cause of their unemployment.

2015-06-09-1433855263-4329543-Slide2.GIF

As computers take on more and more complex tasks, public opinion on this issue will no doubt continue to be monitored – but by whom? Pollsters, take heed: this NPR job automation assessment tool gives survey researchers a 23% chance of being replaced by machines in the next 20 years.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-weldon/automation-for-the-people_b_7543204.html

Indian IT industry faces twin challenges of Trump, automation | Reuters

MUMBAI Automation and the new U.S. administration were the big unknowns at the Indian tech sector’s annual shindig this week, with machines threatening to take away thousands of jobs and concerns over possible visa rule changes in the key American market.

But senior executives from the $150 billion industry, which rose to prominence at the turn of the century by helping Western firms solve the “Y2K” bug, said companies with skilled English-speaking staff and low costs could not be written off yet.

The sector, led by Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd, is lobbying hard as the new U.S. administration under President Donald Trump considers putting in place visa restrictions.

The administration may also raise salaries paid to H1-B visa holders, a move that could significantly increase costs for IT companies that are already facing pressure on margins.

The longer-term challenge and opportunity for the sector was automation, executives said, as global corporations from plane-makers to consumer firms bet on the use of machines to further cut costs and boost efficiency.

That threatens lower-end software services and outsourcing jobs in a sector which employs more than 3.5 million people.

Summing up the mood at the three-day NASSCOM leadership event in Mumbai ending on Friday, Malcolm Frank, Chief Strategy Officer at Cognizant which has most of its operations in India, spoke of “fear and optimism.”

Even top IT executives were “fearing the machines”, he said.

Some Indian executives, including Infosys’ Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao, said that greater automation was expected to help engineers and developers shed repetitive jobs for more creative roles.

“Some part of the work we’ll be automating 100 percent, you don’t require people to do that kind of work,” Rao told Reuters. “But there are always newer things, where we will be able to re-purpose employees who are released from those areas.”

MOVING UP FOOD CHAIN

With rapidly changing technology, Indian IT firms are emphasizing the need for retraining their workforce, in many cases setting up experience centers and learning zones on their sprawling campuses.

Some companies are partnering with universities to design and fund education programs, while staff members spoke of employers laying on training and webinars to help develop skills in automation and cloud computing.

“The threat from automation killing jobs is more than Trump’s anticipated visa rule changes,” a general manager-level employee at a top Indian IT firm said.

NASSCOM chairman and Tech Mahindra CEO C.P. Gurnani said technology would create new roles where “man will manage machines,” even if a fourth of Indian IT jobs were to be replaced by machines over the next four years.

Hiring patterns may also change, with unconventional, high-value graduates likely to be more attractive, to the possible detriment of hiring from India’s engineering colleges.

Infosys, which traditionally recruited only engineering graduates, is considering hiring people educated in liberal arts to add creative skills to its workforce, COO Rao said.

In a first, NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies), the leading Indian IT lobby group, delayed its initial growth forecast for fiscal 2017/18, citing market uncertainty.

NASSCOM officials said it had deferred its predictions by three months to give it time to gauge policy announcements in the United States which could make immigration rules tougher.

The industry body aims to announce a firmer growth forecast after the quarter to March when IT companies report annual earnings and give guidance for the next fiscal year.

“A certain level of … uncertainty will continue over the medium-term,” said NASSCOM President R. Chandrashekhar. “And businesses therefore have to take essential decisions on new technology in the face of a certain degree of uncertainty.”

(Additional reporting by Devidutta Tripathy and Euan Rocha in Mumbai, Sayantani Ghosh and Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-tech-idUSKBN15W1Y2

Industrials Sector | Reuters.com

Feb 28 Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks

Inc reported a 26.3 percent rise in quarterly revenue,

helped by higher subscriptions of its cloud-based security

services.

4:12pm EST

MADRID, Feb 28 Spanish renewable energy and

engineering company Abengoa on Tuesday reported a

record net loss of 7.6 billion euros ($8 billion) for 2016 and

said it was close to wrapping up a debt restructuring that has

saved it from bankruptcy.

4:02pm EST

* Intelsat to shed up to $3.6 bln of debt

(Updates list of advisers)

VIENNA, Feb 28 Austria’s Freedom Party (FPO)

opened the door on Tuesday for a parliamentary inquiry into

whether Airbus billed the government for bribes linked

to the country’s 2 billion-euro ($2.1 billion) order for combat

aircraft.

http://www.reuters.com/sectors/industrials?symbol=SPDR

Investment Opportunities in Automated Economy

When will the jobs return? That’s been the question in this glacially slow recovery.

The answer? Many of jobs won’t be coming back, and that’s painful news for all of us.

Job creation ebbed for years before the 2007-2008 recession and is likely to fall far short of what it was in previous decades.

Low consumer demand is one reason. Companies have no reason to hire if people aren’t buying their products, and recession-wracked Europe, our biggest consumer, isn’t consuming as much.

Yet there’s another reason for weak job creation that isn’t talked about as much. Automation, aided by new technologies, is increasingly replacing labor, changing workplaces and altering the economy in fundamental ways.

For evidence of this trend, just look around your house, your office (if you’re fortunate enough to have one) and the nearest shopping center.

o IPhones, iPads, and other devices are changing the way we shop, communicate and get news and information, disrupting old labor-intensive industries, such as newspapers and the U.S. Postal Service, while creating new ones that generally employ far fewer people.

o Online banking, brokerage and mortgages are increasingly making it easier for consumers to never set foot in a brick-and-mortar bank.

o Movie-downloading services such as Netflix and Redbox have hastened the demise of video stores.

o Self-checkout aisles at stores and gas stations have eliminated thousands of retail jobs.

Truck drivers’ jobs might soon be on the line too. Experiments with computer-driven vehicles have had vastly improved results in the past several years. In 2005, computer-driven cars could go only a few miles. Recently, Google-operated cars went thousands of miles without a mishap, and California Gov. Jerry Brown just signed a bill to allow them on the state’s highways.

As technology evolves at an ever-increasing rate, new jobs are created but not fast enough to replace the jobs that are disappearing. This is creating hardship for millions of Americans.

“At some point in the future — it might be many years or decades from now — machines will be able to do the jobs of a large percentage of the ‘average’ people in our population, and these people will not be able to find new jobs,” writes Martin Ford in his eye-opening book Lights in the Tunnel, which can be downloaded for free. This book details the challenges that we face and offers some possible solutions, including shorter work weeks, job sharing, and eliminating payroll taxes so employers have less incentive to replace workers.

David Autor, an economist at MIT, points out that the job market has been “hollowed out,” with the jobs in the middle — clerks, administrative positions, factory workers — disappearing. At the same time, high-wage jobs have been created in computer programming and biotech. Low-wage, automation-resistant jobs in such industries as food service and health care are doing just fine.

While government officials can and should worry about how to create more good-paying jobs, investors who have long suffered from a sideways stock market can profit by seeking out companies on the leading edge of the automation phenomenon.

Examples include Rockwell Automation, which makes industrial systems; Irobot, a maker of automated tools such as vacuum cleaners and floor washers; Aerovironoment, which manufactures unmanned aircraft and other vehicles, and NCR, a great example of an old-line firm that morphed from mechanical cash registers to ATMs and automated check-in systems.

Another approach to finding investment opportunities stemming from the automation trend is to look for stocks with high sales to employees. A recent survey by Bloomberg calls attention to some companies with high sales-to-employee ratios. Among them: Apple, eBay, Microsoft, Amgen and Google.

Every industrial revolution has been accompanied by new technology that underpins the innovations, and that is also fertile ground for investors seeking growth. Microchips, computer storage, optical drives, LCDs, fiber optics and nanotechnology are just a few of the innovations that are driving the new economy.

Green energy is another trend that’s here to stay. The list of these companies is long but worth investigating for investing ideas.

The good news is that the United States has enormous capacity to supply needed goods and services (with less labor than ever before, which means higher productivity). Jobs are being replaced, to be sure. However, every scenario that Ford envisions won’t necessarily come to pass. Innovators in the global and U.S. economies will doubtless find new ways to make money.

This could mean that today’s manufacturing jobs will be increasingly supplanted by more service jobs. For example, all of the new automation equipment will need servicing. One thing that seers of the high-tech future typically fail to envision is technology needs a lot of work to keep it running.

Whatever the future holds along these lines, investing in old-line firms that are labor intensive seems to be an increasingly bad bet. Such companies tend to be mature, which typically means low-growth potential and low investment returns. By focusing on high-revenue companies that harness automation, however, you’ll be looking to the future. And after all, investing is all about the future.

Yet it’s important to keep in mind that the future never unfolds as neatly as even the best seers predict — even when they’re basically right. The key is to keep abreast of economic developments to see new niches of investing opportunity developing as a result of the automation trend.

On a brighter economic note, this investment will spur general economic growth that, for all we now know, could ultimately produce new jobs in areas that now we can’t even conceive.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Ted Schwartz, a certified financial planner, is president and chief investment officer of Capstone Investment Financial Group. He advises individual investors and endowments, and serves as the adviser to CIFG UMA accounts. Because Schwartz has a background in psychology and counseling, he brings insights into personal motivation when advising clients on how to achieve their wealth management goals. Schwartz holds a B.A. from Duke University and an M.A. from Oregon State University. He can be reached at ted@capstoneinvest.com.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/investment-opportunities-automated-economy/story?id=17760124

Tiny Robots Use Gecko Power To Carry Heavy Weights

A pair of Stanford University PhD students at the school’s Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Lab have developed what they call MicroTugs, or mini bots that use adhesive power similar to what’s found on the feet of geckos and ants to pull off incredible feats of strength.

One robot weighing less than a third of an ounce can carry a 2.2-pound weight vertically up a glass wall.

Another robot weighs less than half an ounce, but can drag 2,000 times its own weight on a flat surface.

“This is the equivalent of a human adult dragging a blue whale around on land,” the researchers note.

What’s even more amazing is that the tests are actually bound by the limits of the actuators in the robots, not the adhesive power of the feet. That, the research team said in the video description, should allow them to pull almost twice as much — or the equivalent of a human dragging two blue whales.

The tiny bots contain a battery, a winch, a processor, a motor, wheels and an adhesive layer on the belly. The adhesive layer contains small rubber spikes similar to the “setae” that cover the toes of geckos, NBC News reports.

As the video above explains, the adhesive layer doesn’t stick unless the bot is pulling a load with its winch. When it does, the wheels lift and the belly lowers to stick to the surface. Once an object has been pulled, the adhesive belly lifts and the wheels come back down, allowing the robot to move freely again.

Eventually, the technology could be used on larger robots to carry heavy items around a construction site or in emergencies, such as bringing a rope ladder to someone trapped in a tall burning building, according to New Scientist.

The MicroTugs will be the subject of a presentation at next month’s International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Seattle. The authors have also published two papers on their developments, which can be found here and here.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/27/gecko-power-robots_n_7157692.html