Unhappy meals

Automatic butt-kicker

Robot population boom

Hey, you know one of the main reasons we should keep the United Nations around? Because it’s the only organization that does an annual global robot census. According to this year’s figures, the world robot population is booming. You can download the entire PDF report here, but a few highlights include:

- there are currently 53,500 “domestic robots” — mostly vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers
- there are currently 545,000 robots for “leisure time, entertainment, and hobbies”
- there are 20 robots working in “marketing”
- there are 8,300 robots in “education”
- there are 1,450 “robotic systems for milking”

Of course, the report is also shot through with delirious proclamations about how much money you can save by firing your humans and hiring robots: “Profitability studies have found that it is not unusual for robots to have a pay-back period as short as 1-2 years,” the authors note.

(Thanks to Slashdot for this one!)

blog comments powered by Disqus

Search This Site


I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

More of Me


Recent Comments

Collision Detection: A Blog by Clive Thompson