Robots like Sewbo can lead to unemployment in many countries like China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India. What are your thought on this?
Even though history tells us manufacturing advances always works out for the best, many people ask me about this and I share their concerns about the short-term impacts of automation. I believe it will be a long time before automation can perform complex assemblies, and it will never be able to do everything. It will be a gradual transition. One of the biggest reasons I made this announcement is to give the industry ample notice that change is on the horizon, with the hopes of reducing its eventual impact.
What are your future plans? How do you plan to grow with Sewbo?
The American military spends billions of dollars a year on uniforms, and the law says that they must be made in the United States of America. They are interested in utilising automation, and have been funding research in this space. I am hoping that Sewbo will be able to provide solutions and develop its technology with this target in mind.
Ever since the launch, Sewbo has been all over the media. Has this translated into sales?
I have been overwhelmed with the interest the project has received. Sewbo isn’t currently selling anything, but it has been very instructive to learn about the areas in which automation has the greatest demand. It has also been a wonderful opportunity to explore strategic partnerships with interested manufacturers.
Any other R&D at your unit that you plan to unveil soon?
There are several projects in progress, but it may be a while before they are ready to be shared.
What has been the cost of the entire Sewbo project? Where did the funding come from? How soon do you hope to break even?
I cannot discuss those business specifics. I can tell you that I have several investors.
Can the Sewbo be modified to stitch other garments?
Yes, this is a general purpose solution for cut-and-sew manufacturing operations.
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