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Old 2006-06-23, 17:02   Link #121
cloudedge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flamingtroll
I can assure you full automation ALWAYS cost less than manual labour in most cases.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flamingtroll
No I am saying it is more effective to have as much automation as possible.
Key word: Full Automation, ALWAYS

Point prove.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flamingtroll
Unit cost wise, i believe it might be cheaper to have a machine making Big Macs. But you have to consider a fast food franchise's ability to aquire the capital and the way food is delivered to the customer. Thus while the paddies are stamped out by machines, the burgers are assembled on site and hiring a worker is more cost effective.
I agrue that even Unit cost it would not be cheaper.
And I assure you that McDonald definately HAVE the capital to develop a system to automate the entire Big Mac Production process, the only reason why they don't implement it is because it will cost MORE to use an automate system than good old $8/hr Joe Doe. And you want to know why? Because to build an automate system that can be robust enough to adapt all the different demands by the customer would cost too much!

People make special orders, cheese, no onion, more lettuce, extra tomato and oops, customer says refund. A system can do all of those, it just become extemely complex that it cost more than manual labour.

It's the same with space, if not more so!
Adaptation is the KEY to space industry. You cannot built an automated system unless the system is WELL DEFINED AND UNDERSTOOD. That's why you can automate banking easily because there's established protocol and parameter! All senario is mapped out. You can't do that with space or mining. Situation changes, and you need "intellegence" to adapt to sudden change. Until we can design drone that are intellegent and can make "decision". To suggest space mining begin with automation is impossible - anyone who have built an automate system would tell you that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Paper
Somehow, regardless of the paycheck, I don't see people flocking to a job where your odds of dying are exceedingly high.
Sadly, I have seen some documentary regarding China's worker. And you'd be suprise how people mass produce firework at a home enviroment (using explosive that can kill their entire family if anything go wrong) and refine crystals with no venderlation (all those workers suffer lung failure in no more than 10 years due to the fine dust)...

Maybe people in North America won't do it... but I can see many others would risks their lives for money. It is sad, but life is still cheap in developing country.
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Old 2006-06-23, 17:02   Link #122
cloudedge
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sorry Mr. Paper Double post.
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Old 2006-06-23, 20:28   Link #123
flamingtroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudedge
Key word: Full Automation, ALWAYS

Point prove.
I did say "in most cases". But fine I should have chosen my words more carefully. I assume people would understand the level of automation i meant is not to deliver breakfast on conveyors, but most of the daily operations of an industry. Acutally I was rather mislead by Chaos, I have nevered stated full automation in my orignal post, but since I was told that I am assuming "Full-Automation" I just went along using that term. But the level of automation in my mind would still be quite high level. Basically i believe you don't need any sort of people intervention in any production process unless something goes wrong.

Quote:
I agrue that even Unit cost it would not be cheaper.
And I assure you that McDonald definately HAVE the capital to develop a system to automate the entire Big Mac Production process, the only reason why they don't implement it is because it will cost MORE to use an automate system than good old $8/hr Joe Doe. And you want to know why? Because to build an automate system that can be robust enough to adapt all the different demands by the customer would cost too much!

People make special orders, cheese, no onion, more lettuce, extra tomato and oops, customer says refund. A system can do all of those, it just become extemely complex that it cost more than manual labour.
They don't develop a system beucase it is not the point of McDonalds to just merely produce Big Macs, but rather they have Big Macs immediately made and served to a customer. That is McDonald's real product- fast food SERVICE. They hire people to do it beucase they NEED people to do it. That is what i meant when I say "the way the food is delievered". There is no point to make a machine to pop out a big mac and hire a person to carry that big mac to the customer since the task is simple and the volume of production is low in an outlet compared to a factory.

Conversely if McDonalds mass produces packaged Big Macs to be sold in vending Machines, a machine would be cheaper than a person flipping burgers. Assuming a well designed system, all you really need to do is to calibrate to produce Big Macs without cheese, without onion etc. I can already imagine a "hamburger stacker" for that part of the proceudre when you just calibrate what to drop into the stack. The point is that a mass productive industry doesn't produce by order as you described. Since you produce so much, it is worth the money to invest in a system that produces them as effectively as possible. These is pretty much simple fixed cost vs. variable accounting.

Case in point: Frozen entree are already cooked (although refrozen) and are ready to serve and they are much cheaper than ordering a meal in a cafeteria with around the same quality. Partly it is beucase they are mass produced by machines

Also you have to consider that the cost of capital is leveraged on the buyer of the franchrise not McDonalds the company. Why make your potential buyers to purchse a machine for such a low output environment?


Quote:
It's the same with space, if not more so!
Adaptation is the KEY to space industry. You cannot built an automated system unless the system is WELL DEFINED AND UNDERSTOOD. That's why you can automate banking easily because there's established protocol and parameter! All senario is mapped out. You can't do that with space or mining. Situation changes, and you need "intellegence" to adapt to sudden change. Until we can design drone that are intellegent and can make "decision". To suggest space mining begin with automation is impossible - anyone who have built an automate system would tell you that.
Again if you have read completely what I wrote, I didnt not say there will be absolutley no human beings involved. I stated there will be remote monitoring and control by HUMANS. Perhaps automation is a misleading term, I should have specify it as "onsite automation". If a system is designed to be intelligent enough it would be able to handle most trivial tasks. And if something goes wrong it should be designed that it will be able to be corrected or bypass the problems with commands from Earth with HUMAN decisions. And lastly you might have a small number of people on site physically just in case. But beyond that there is little need of people to be on the moon for daily operations. The level of trivial task in a mining operation would be things like controlling bulldozers and bucket trucks. Honestly these tasks require very little intelligence to do, and compared to a human driver, the drones are much more expendable. I personally was involved in a project that designs "intelligent" robots that would hopefully one day be the prototypes for future generations of mining drones. While I am no expert, as my involvement is small, I am not ignorant in this matter.

You seem to also have completely ignore how much it would take to keep poeple alive on the moon. The systems needed to sustain an acceptable living condition itself would be complicated and has even higher risk of failures and serious consequences. A "Joe Doe" on the moon will cost way more than just $8/hr
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Old 2006-06-23, 22:21   Link #124
cloudedge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flamingtroll
But fine I should have chosen my words more carefully. I assume people would understand the level of automation i meant is not to deliver breakfast on conveyors, but most of the daily operations of an industry.
As long as you understand your statement was a strong claim that had no basis.
There is nothing that is ever fully automated that's always better.

[QUOTE=flamingtroll]
That is McDonald's real product- fast food SERVICE.
[quote]

Do you really think people, at least a large amount of their adult customer actually go there for their "SERVICE" LOL! If they could automate Bic Mac Vending machine and STILL maintain the cost low I am sure they would have self-serve machine for the adults anyway. I see a demand for 24hr Big Mac Vending Machine, then why don't they have it? Because it's too expensive!


Quote:
Originally Posted by flamingtroll
Assuming a well designed system, all you really need to do is to calibrate to produce Big Macs without cheese, without onion etc. I can already imagine a "hamburger stacker" for that part of the proceudre when you just calibrate what to drop into the stack. The point is that a mass productive industry doesn't produce by order as you described. Since you produce so much, it is worth the money to invest in a system that produces them as effectively as possible. These is pretty much simple fixed cost vs. variable accounting.
So you just said it. Automation is only cost-efficent for mass production. Not in all case. Where the system is well defined.



Quote:
Originally Posted by flamingtroll
If a system is designed to be intelligent enough it would be able to handle most trivial tasks. And if something goes wrong it should be designed that it will be able to be corrected or bypass the problems with commands from Earth with HUMAN decisions.

Honestly these tasks require very little intelligence to do, and compared to a human driver, the drones are much more expendable. I personally was involved in a project that designs "intelligent" robots that would hopefully one day be the prototypes for future generations of mining drones. While I am no expert, as my involvement is small, I am not ignorant in this matter.

You seem to also have completely ignore how much it would take to keep poeple alive on the moon. The systems needed to sustain an acceptable living condition itself would be complicated and has even higher risk of failures and serious consequences. A "Joe Doe" on the moon will cost way more than just $8/hr
Define: Most Trivial Tasks.

How do you define which tasks are trivial and which tasks are critical without first have human being to do it first? What is trivial in earth mining might not be the same as space mining. When is something going wrong? How wrong does it have to go before the system must interverine?
Determining what problems are minor and what are show stoppers are things that can only be learnt from experience, which is why space mining would start with people.
And what you say "onsite automation" is not automation. If you need a human being to monitor the process, then it's not automation, it's a tool.

If drones are more expendable, and ultilizing bulldozer and trucks are so trivial then why aren't we using drones and remote bulldozer on earth now? Drones are not cheap, and they are not adaptable. And last of all they cannot problem solve. You are dismissing the power of human intellegence.

Have you ever write system requirements? Do you know how long it takes to gather requirements and consolidate them to cover (hopefully) all cases? Do you know how many times you have to examine a routine to abstract all the use case? You can't anticipates or imagine what the problems and challenges space mining would entail. You can't define an automate system to do a task without first knowing the work flow! And work flow are develope from human beings who solves this problems routinely and come up with a "ideal" method of doing things. Space Mining would never begin with automation. It would be people them figuring how to overcome the challenges and as they routinely solve this problem, they can learn to abstract the essence to create automated solution. But it's never the other way around.

I am working in a software company right now who is writing these specification, and I'll assure you that the tasks we do are a lot simplier than minning in the moon, and the specs are already extremely complex! Building an intelligent system is not as simple as you think. Just remember how many times you've cursed at your "stupid" computer and you'll realize how limited automation is!

Oh and trust me, there will be Joe-Doe who would go work on hardazdous and dangerous condition for not a lot more than $8/hr... Their name would just be Zhang Yi.
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Old 2006-06-24, 00:09   Link #125
Commander 598
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So colonized space will be like...Firefly...
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Old 2006-06-24, 00:55   Link #126
flamingtroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudedge
Quote:
Originally Posted by flamingtroll
That is McDonald's real product- fast food SERVICE.
Do you really think people, at least a large amount of their adult customer actually go there for their "SERVICE" LOL! If they could automate Bic Mac Vending machine and STILL maintain the cost low I am sure they would have self-serve machine for the adults anyway. I see a demand for 24hr Big Mac Vending Machine, then why don't they have it? Because it's too expensive!
Obviously you have not been to Japan.

http://www3.tky.3web.ne.jp/~edjacob/vending.html
(2nd row, 1st one on the right)

Why don't we see it in NA (I assume thats where you live)? Beucase NA doesnt have the population density to support this type of sales. Why does Japan have it? It is cost effective to do so. Why do we still see fast food joints in Japan? Beucase fast-food joint cannot be replaced by vending machines, since they are different things.

When i wrote my post, I almost KNEW you would make fun of the word "service". Regardless of whether you like McDonald's customer service, they are considered part of the service industries.

Quote:
So you just said it. Automation is only cost-efficent for mass production. Not in all case. Where the system is well defined.
Before you argue for the sake of arguing. Read! In my original post no where had I used the phrase "automation", it was until i was told that I "was assuming full automation" that I used the term as common denominator vocabulary. By the defintion of the word alone, nothing in this world can be "fully automated". Picking off definitions of words doesn't help make your arugment, particulary when it wasn't coined by me in the first place. The context of my argument has always been some form of mass production, otherwise there will even be less of a purpose to have space colonies if people are up there in small numbers.

Oh if you really are interested in playing the defintion game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudedge
As long as you understand your statement was a strong claim that had no basis.
There is nothing that is ever fully automated that's always better.
Tell me somethign that is considered "fully automated" by your standard, and I will there you how it is not fully automated and thus invalidate your assertion.

Quote:
Define: Most Trivial Tasks.
How do you define which tasks are trivial and which tasks are critical without first have human being to do it first? What is trivial in earth mining might not be the same as space mining. When is something going wrong? How wrong does it have to go before the system must interverine?
Determining what problems are minor and what are show stoppers are things that can only be learnt from experience, which is why space mining would start with people.
And what you say "onsite automation" is not automation. If you need a human being to monitor the process, then it's not automation, it's a tool.
Drones are not too cheap nor are they very adaptable now, but the trend I see is that it will be easier and faster to have drones produced with a good enough amount of "intelligence" to handle things like moving dirt around. We can't do it now beucase we the technology haven't matured yet. But seeing how we are even more behind in developing regenerative extended life support system, overcoming the challenges of people living in extended low gravity situations and the expensive human cost, I would expect future space industires will opt for being as automated as possible. Gaining experience does not imply necessary having a person to stand beside what they are doing. That would have been nice, but often data gathering is done by experimentation and this can be done just as well remotely. It would still cost less to have a drone fall off a crater and blow up, than to have a bulldozer driver to do the same and the company will be left with piles of law suits.

My ideas of trivial task I think i have listed a few already: moving dirt from one place to another. Moving the dirt onto bucket trucks. Move the bucket trucks to dump the dirt somewhere else. There are many problems to overcome, but I see them as being much easier than the challenges of having colonies of a good size.

Quote:
If drones are more expendable, and ultilizing bulldozer and trucks are so trivial then why aren't we using drones and remote bulldozer on earth now? Drones are not cheap, and they are not adaptable. And last of all they cannot problem solve. You are dismissing the power of human intellegence.
What is your point here? We are talking about the future. Of course we are not using them now, because they are not availiable- neither are mining colonies on the moon with 5000 workers. But as I have said suggested, technology wise it woudl be easier to have slightly intelligent drones to do work remotely. I begin to wonder if you are even trying to make a meaningful discussion or just trying to jab at every word I say. I am in no way dismisisng the power of huamn intellegence, but rather intellegence can be better used else where, or used FROM elsewhere.

Let me ask you, why do NASA only send deep space probes now? Why are most satellites deployment done with launch capsules and not by using the shuttlecraft with astronaunts on board? Becausee it can be be done with automation+ ground control and it is much easier than having a person up there to do it.

Quote:
Have you ever write system requirements? Do you know how long it takes to gather requirements and consolidate them to cover (hopefully) all cases? Do you know how many times you have to examine a routine to abstract all the use case? You can't anticipates or imagine what the problems and challenges space mining would entail. You can't define an automate system to do a task without first knowing the work flow! And work flow are develope from human beings who solves this problems routinely and come up with a "ideal" method of doing things. Space Mining would never begin with automation. It would be people them figuring how to overcome the challenges and as they routinely solve this problem, they can learn to abstract the essence to create automated solution. But it's never the other way around.

I am working in a software company right now who is writing these specification, and I'll assure you that the tasks we do are a lot simplier than minning in the moon, and the specs are already extremely complex! Building an intelligent system is not as simple as you think. Just remember how many times you've cursed at your "stupid" computer and you'll realize how limited automation is!
I begin to think you have either not read anything I have written, or you completely misunderstood what I wrote. When did I ever say that you will never need humans to do anything forever. OF COURSE you need humans to do the design and decisions. ALL this time the point is the intellegence stays on earth and you don't really need a lot fo ppl in space?!!!!!

I have written software specs myselfs, and yes they can be diffcult. And no software is fail safe even with the utmost careful reviews or even to some extreme mathematical proofs of concepts. But I don't see how that is an issue. Wouldnt the fact that it is so diffcult to design a safe system that we shodul try things on unmanned probes, rather than the bulldozer units with drivers in it? You will have many people on the moon in the initial setup, and it is necessary. You need to build the thing after all. I am sayign that after that part of process has passed, there is little need for people to stay and live on the moon, thus defeating the idea of colonies. Had I not make this point many times already?!

Quote:
Oh and trust me, there will be Joe-Doe who would go work on hardazdous and dangerous condition for not a lot more than $8/hr... Their name would just be Zhang Yi.
Even if that is true, by that time China would probably be a pretty powerful economic entity and life will become more valuable. I would even wonder if there can be any place for a Joe Doe in space. Astronaunts need training, is not like any person can just go sign up and go to space. And I think a level of training is still required in the future. So NO, if a person can be in space, he/she can't be a Joe-Doe. Either that, or the company that sends them are idiots. They might as well send a 180 pound satellite instead.

Edit: btw, Our leader for the project is a mining engineering professor, I guess if there is anyone here that knows the need of mining industires in the future, in space or on earth. It is him. And he is the starter of this unmanned robots project.

Last edited by flamingtroll; 2006-06-24 at 01:16.
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Old 2006-06-24, 02:15   Link #127
Commander 598
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What makes you think people will go for it? What part of "People want to be there" do you not understand?

Quote:
So NO, if a person can be in space, he/she can't be a Joe-Doe.
Astronauts are trained and paid excessively to do simple tasks.

They are a poor base for anything.

You don't need someone with a Phd ,$10 ,000,000 theoretical bucket of bolts, or a Navy/Air Force test pilot to swing a pickaxe. To fly you from A to B, yes.
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Old 2006-06-24, 23:13   Link #128
flamingtroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander 598
What makes you think people will go for it? What part of "People want to be there" do you not understand?



Astronauts are trained and paid excessively to do simple tasks.

They are a poor base for anything.

You don't need someone with a Phd ,$10 ,000,000 theoretical bucket of bolts, or a Navy/Air Force test pilot to swing a pickaxe. To fly you from A to B, yes.
Would you want to move to an mid atlantic oil reg and to just be a janitor there? I would think you would want to be paid pretty well for doing that? This is similar for a space mine. People would definitely want to be there to explore, which I have already said so. But working at living in space is completely different. There are many technological and financial practicality involved. And we are talking about an industry, which has the primary objective of making money, not fullfilling ideals. So just beucase people "want" to be there doesnt mean they would want or are allowed go there and make a living out of digging holes.

You seem to think doing anything in space is as easy as flipping a remote. No you don't need a PhD to be an astronaunt. But training is a definite must. Beucase in space you cannot afford to make many mistakes, and many things you have to in space is very complicated. A person with such extensive specialized training and education will naturally be expected to pay much more than their counter part on the Earth. It would be like a profession. So you need to invest a lot of dough for a guy just to swing a pickaxe, unfortunately. And heck, even on Earth people are already overpaid, like those handymen that charge you 40 bucks an hour just to tighten your tap.
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