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Thrivability Solutions Network
Solving Global Pollution, Poverty and their Consequences
Adding the "Affordable Prosthetic Hands" from Open Bionics http://www.openbionics.org/videos_experiments/ to Baxter robots could really expand the possibilities for automation and for a vast range of other beneficial uses!
Fully-Automate the Mass-Production (Fully-AMP) of SPACE Houses
to end Global Poverty by passing on the massive savings generated to consumers
Rodney Brooks, who invented the Roomba vacuum cleaner, also designed a game-changing workbot, called Baxter. Baxter is different from factory robots because it can work safely with humans, anyone can train it - it does not have to be programmed, and it costs far less that typical factory robots. http://www.rethinkrobotics.com/baxter/
One variant of this combined robot could become an all-purpose Automated Farming Robot:
Fully-Automated Mass Production (Fully-AMP)
They can make the creation of fully-automated factories very affordable and attractive for the Scalable, Portable, Automatable and Closable Ecosystem (SPACE) House. Fully-automated factories require little or no human intervention to operate 24 hours a day, with fewer production errors and no salaries or benefits to pay. Mass production allows you to reap the savings of the economies of scale without sacrificing quality. These significant savings are passed on to consumers.
All of the raw materials needed for the fully-AMP of All thrival necessities can easily be harvested from the generous amounts of recycled materials that humans produce on a daily basis. Even our sewage is a valuable source of hydrogen and fertilizer, while hydrogen and construction materials can be extracted from landfills, using plasma arc gasification (see Energy-n-Sanitation). Combining the existing technologies of self-driving cars with automated waste collection trucks to automate the collection and delivery of recycled materials to the fully-AMP factories, will create additional automation savings.
So, if producing, harvesting and delivering the raw materials to fully-AMP factories is quasi-free; and the fully-AMP of each SPACE House is also quasi-free; then their low costs can be distributed so that healthy quantities, for each person/family, becomes absolutely free and unhealthy quantities become prohibitively expensive. Public and private sector grants/subsidies could also assist to easily make the SPACE House totally free for consumers, eliminating poverty! Note that only the base models of each SPACE House would be free. The versions with more features would entail a proportional monetary cost.
Some public and private organizations provide incentives for eco-friendly innovations, products, services and practices to both the organizations who make them and to the consumers who buy and use them. We encourage these organizations to offer incentives to encourage individuals and organizations to strive for a thrival society, at the national, global and universal levels.
Finally, an end to global pollution can be achieved, at the same time, by enforcing the strict adherence to global ACE standards for All products and services, including thrival necessities! A thrival service provides individuals with the tools to help them to reach their full potential, in regards to their personal talents and health.
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How to make necessities available to all?
The sooner that we stop treating basic necessities like luxuries or bargaining chips, the better off we will all be! In the past, money was needed to control access to these necessities because we did not know how to easily feed and clothe everyone, but we now have the required knowledge and technology to achieve this. So what's the problem? It's too expensive. It doesn't have to be, though. We also have the knowledge and technology to manufacture these necessities for next to nothing. How? We apply the very lucrative/profitable freeware business model to those necessary products and services, through fully-automated mass production of the base models. Freeware is computer software that is available for use at no monetary cost. Priced versions of the same software have more features (Adobe Acrobat Reader is free while Acrobat Standard/Pro are not). Fully-automated factories require little or no human intervention to operate 24 hours a day, with fewer production errors and no salaries or benefits to pay. Mass production allows you to reap the savings of the economies of scale without sacrificing quality. These significant savings are passed on to consumers. Only the base models of each thrival necessity would be free/quasi-free. The versions with more features would entail a proportional monetary cost. Each product must be designed adhere to Clean Hydrogen Economy Standards for its entire lifecycle. Finally, governments and other organizations can provide grants, subsidies and other incentives to both producers and consumers to bring down the prices of both survival and thrival necessities to the free/quasi-free status.
Won't automation cause job losses?
History demonstrates that automation consistently creates significantly more jobs, that are more fulfilling and profitable, than those that were lost, in entirely new and unimagined fields: "This common sense view is borne out by many economic studies. For example, economists at the Federal Reserve write that, “Productivity grew noticeably faster than usual in the late 1990s, while the unemployment rate fell to levels not seen for more than three decades. This inverse relationship between the two variables also can be seen on several other occasions in the postwar period and leads one to wonder whether there is a causal link between them. The empirical evidence presented here shows that a positive technology shock leads to a reduction in the unemployment rate that persists for several years.” Likewise, in a definitive review of the studies on productivity and employment, the OECD’s Jobs Study: Facts, Analysis, Strategy report stated that, “Technology both eliminates jobs and creates jobs. Generally it destroys lower wage, lower productivity jobs, while it creates jobs that are more productive, high-skill and better paid. Historically, the income-generating effects of new technologies have proved more powerful than the labor-displacing effects: technological progress has been accompanied not only by higher output and productivity, but also by higher overall employment.”This is not to say that productivity-enhancing technologies, including self-service, don’t sometimes result in short-term job loss—or more often, occupational shifts, as companies redeploy workers to provide better services and operate their businesses more efficiently. But if economies want to create jobs over the medium- to long-run, embracing self-service technology is a key way to do so, for two key reasons. First, there are jobs created in the companies providing self-service technologies. Second, and more importantly, as consumers pay relatively less for goods and services, they have more purchasing power which stimulates a growth in other sectors, leading to a self-reinforcing economic expansion."
What about luxuries?
They can be as expensive and as rare as companies and society want to make them, as long as they do not cause pollution or poverty, directly or indirectly.
How can we pay for the sweeping changes proposed on this website?
Once SPACE Houses exist in sufficient numbers, poverty and the burden of huge poverty-associated costs will also disappear. The same applies for sharp decreases in crimes, pollution and wars. Pollution-free thrival technologies will also help to open up the vast riches of space to humanity. These are excellent reasons for both businesses and governments to accelerate the transition to a thrival civilization.
What We Still Need To Achieve
We only need to adapt the current Automatic Factory versions of each Thrival Necessity to mass produce Thrival versions. Versatile and inexpensive workbots, like Baxter, will make this possible. Here are other automation companies which can help to make this possible: