Tyson Bets On Robots To Tackle Meat Industry’s Worker Shortage

Meat consumption needs to go way down but this could protect many workers – but will cut employment too. Eat more plants!

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At Tyson’s 26,000-square-foot, multi-million dollar Manufacturing Automation Center near its headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, the company will apply the latest advances in machine learning to meat manufacturing, with the goal of eventually eliminating jobs that can be physically demanding, highly repetitive and at times dangerous. Bloomberg reports: Advances in technology are making it possible to make strides in automation. For example, machine vision is now accurate and speedy enough to apply to meat production, which is highly labor intensive compared with other food manufacturing. Also, a lot of washing and sanitizing occurs in a meat-packing plant, which has traditionally been difficult on robots, but now the machines are built to withstand that. At Tyson’s new facility, a series of laboratories showcase different types of robots. Mechanical arms in glass cases use smart cameras to sort colorful objects or stack items. In another room, a larger machine called a palletizer performs stacking tasks. There’s also a training space.

Many of the types of robots that a meatpacking plant would need are not on the market currently, so the company needs to innovate and collaborate with partners to create them, said Doug Foreman, a director in engineering at Tyson. But the technology is ready. The processing capabilities of cameras are “so advanced even from a few years ago,” Foreman said. “Processing-speed-wise, it’s there now for us.”

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bellingcat – Migrants From Another World: Introduction To The Project – bellingcat

Migrants have Facebook and WhatsApp on their phones, and they can report what happens to them along the way. They span networks by nationality, like the one Malians and Senegalese have been building in Brazil and Argentina since the late 1990s. In chat groups, those who have already made it through put them in contact with some migrant protectors — like Luis Guerrero Araya, whom I met in La Cruz, Costa Rica — and they can let others know if there are problems ahead.

Once some find soil to put down roots, they call the others, and those call others. This is what humanity has always done: migrate in clusters.

This long journey is also possible because, although migrants are unwelcome almost everywhere, their money is always welcomed. It flows easily from accounts in Karachi, Pakistan and Douala, Cameroon to Cruzeiro Oeste and Sao Paulo, Brasil or to Apartadó, Colombia, it crosses all borders with very little paperwork, through multiple international instant money transfer services like Western Union or MoneyGram, which are often mentioned.

 

Source: bellingcat – Migrants From Another World: Introduction To The Project – bellingcat

Unemployed New Yorkers Brace For End Of $600 Weekly Federal Help – Gothamist – (US Senate locked down by Mitch McConnell)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declaring as far back as May that program will not be included in another potential stimulus bill to help struggling businesses. McConnell argued that such a program de-incentivizes people to return to work. Congress will be in session on July 20th, but plans to wrap up in August.

Source: Unemployed New Yorkers Brace For End Of $600 Weekly Federal Help – Gothamist

Houston hospitals turning away patients as coronavirus overwhelms ERs | The Texas Tribune

The increase in ambulance diversions, coupled with the spike in patients being held indefinitely in emergency rooms, are the latest indicators that Houston hospitals are straining to keep up with a surge of new coronavirus patients. ProPublica and NBC News have previously reported that a public hospital in Houston ran out of a medication to treat COVID-19 patients and that a spike in at-home deaths from cardiac arrest suggests that the death toll from the coronavirus may be higher than official statistics show.

Source: Houston hospitals turning away patients as coronavirus overwhelms ERs | The Texas Tribune

Trump commutes prison sentence for Roger Stone, convicted of lying to Congress – Los Angeles Times – (ROTFLMAO – #45 avoids getting run over by bus by letting “buddy” off the hook – no respect for law here.)

President Trump has commuted the prison sentence of Roger Stone, a longtime confidant and Republican operative who was found guilty last year of seven felony counts, including witness tampering and lying to Congress during the Russia investigation.

Source: Trump pardons Roger Stone, convicted of lying to Congress – Los Angeles Times

The Uprising of 60,000 Jamaicans that Changed the Very Nature of Revolt — Repeating Islands

This article by Tom Zoellner (Zócalo Public Square) is from May 28, 2020, but timely. In this essay, Zoellner reminds us that “the ways of resistance are timeless.” He writes that, “just months after the groundbreaking 1831 Rebellion, the British Empire abolished slavery.” [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] […]

The Uprising of 60,000 Jamaicans that Changed the Very Nature of Revolt — Repeating Islands

Then, on the night of December 27, 1831, “the business” opened. The first signal fires were lit in the hills above Montego Bay, and soon plantation houses went up in flames across the richest West Indian colony of the British empire. White Jamaica found itself contending with its biggest insurrection ever. It took five weeks for a British military crackdown to restore quiet.

The rebellion’s end would not be a lasting defeat. Much of the British public was already disgusted by slavery—the price of maintaining it seemed to be endless wars overseas—and after the Jamaica rebellion, political pressure built. Within 18 months of the first fire, slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire.