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Forget the ATM Thing… Automation is Good for the Economy Again

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By Doug Powers  •  June 24, 2011 03:06 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Just last week, President Obama said that automation (ATMs, airport kiosks, etc) is killing jobs.

(Pop a Dramamine because you’re about to take yet another abrupt 180° turn)

This week a key ingredient in job creation is… automation:

Need help defusing a bomb, mowing a lawn or scraping old paint?

President Barack Obama saw robots that can do those tasks on Friday when he visited the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University. It’s one of eight research centers at the school’s Robotics Institute.

The institute has been a global force in robotics development over the last 30 years. Its scientists have created robot vehicles to scout out war zones, medical robots, entertainment robots and even the SnackBot, which ferries snacks to people so scientists can study how humans respond to machines.

After touring the facility Friday, Obama joked that “one of my responsibilities as commander-in-chief is to keep an eye on robots.”

But Obama’s main theme was that advanced manufacturing has the potential to fuel job growth. He called for a joint effort by industry, universities and the federal government to help reposition the United States as a leader in cutting-edge manufacturing.

The new automation initiative, which is thought to be the brainchild of Obama’s autopen, is expected to create many jobs, especially in fields involved in manufacturing machinery that prints money:

The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership is designed to team government, industry and higher education to fund new technologies. Obama’s plan calls for an initial $500-million down payment toward that effort.

If yet another spending initiative causes you to get so angry you soil yourself, fear not — Obama’s got you covered… literally:

The president spoke after viewing projects at the center, including small robots that can enter sewer systems, and learning about technologies to create, among other things, next-generation diapers.

“Workers at Huggies hardest hit.”

If taxpayers are being hit up for another half billion and the word “diaper” is anywhere near the story, something stinks and is indeed shovel ready.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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