Construction sites might one day be buzzing with robots. Researchers are developing autonomous construction systems that can assemble — or even 3-D print — any structure imaginable. Their latest success: a robot from MIT that recently achieved the world's largest, fastest 3-D print job. It built a 12-foot dome out of insulation foam in just 13 hours using power from only batteries and the sun. But while there is growing concern that robots are removing jobs from the workforce, we're still a long way from becoming fully reliant on robotic construction.
Class discussion: Do you think robots will one day build homes and other buildings? Would you be comfortable living in a home built by robots? What has cost more U.S. jobs: automation or foreign competition? What kind of jobs could be replaced by new artificial intelligence programs that can teach themselves to solve problems? Could they perform much of the work now performed by accountants, stock traders, lawyers, doctors or computer programmers? Do you think you will be competing against robots and computer programs to earn a living? Who profits the most from automation?
Lessons & Classroom Activities
Resources by grade level