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8 The PCB Magazine • May 2014 by Ray Rasmussen I-connect007 January's big news was that Google was getting into robotics in a big way with some very strategic acquisitions. In February we heard that Foxconn and Google were partner- ing to build the "factory of the future." In an interview with The Observer, Ray Kurzweil, Google's director of engineering, believes that by 2029 computer systems (au- tomation and robotics included) will be as smart as people and much more capable. Kurzweil, famous as a futurist and focused on the exponential changes in technologies, predicted the Internet, among other technol- ogy breakthroughs. He also predicts that that by 2030, solar energy will be able to meet all the energy needs of the planet. That's just 15 years away! If you're interested in gaining a better un- derstanding of the difference between robot- ics and automation, check out this link. As I've mentioned before, robotics are go- ing to have a profound effect on people, both positively and negatively. In fact, I believe the automated and robotic factory along with the evermore automated business will dra- matically change our society—it has to. IPC APEX keynote speaker and X-Prize Founder Dr. Peter Diamandis talked about this very is- sue during his presentation. What's both ex- citing and scary at the same time is that, as he pointed out, technological change is accel- erating and our society is transforming into what he called "technological socialism" as machines replace workers. Societies will need the way i see it c o l u m n Googlebotics

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