Robots are an integral part of the vast industry that creates the wealth we enjoy. It is about to be essential to the exploration of Mars, as it will prepare the habitats and generate the fuel for the return journeys of the SpaceX spaceships. Robots are used in greenhouses, ports, you name it. The abilities of experimental robots, which combine vision and powerfull computation are impressive even in fields like manual dexterity, pick and place where humans have had the upper hand up until now.
The principles of economics do force robots and automatic systems into every nook and cranny of our production machine, simply because they do more valuable work for the same resources compared to humans. Thus we have a ‘singularity’, one much more real than the AI singularity, where the cost of a robot performing a human job drops below the cost of the human, and all humans will be redundant for tasks that can be performed bu robots. The same principles of economics however also increase the market price of robots so that the buyer will always only marginally reduce his cost compared to humans, and so only a disruptive new way to make these human level capable robots will finaly kill of human work. This shows once again how economics when it serves a banking/fossil elite becomes stifling to progress.
I call increased automation progress because it is good to save people from tedious dirty boring jobs. The only bad thing about robots and automation is that these techniques are introduced under our fossil credit system, the system that maximizes the fossil industry and banking turnover. This system is super wastefull, because wastefull consumption generates more cashflow than when porduct quality is high and people have to replace products less often. The trick is to rebase automation and our production machine entirely on sustainable resources, both energy and raw/natural materials. Then the cost of everything will drop and we will start to accumulate more resources instead of be depleting them. For now there is no police force in the world that can bring this situation about.
But there are regions on our planet that nobody is really interested in, regions where there are not much resources to begin with. The thought that rarely pops up in people’s mind is : How can we use robots to generate resources we might like to use in the future? How can we use robots to restore a damaged or absent ecology in places where nobody is able to destroy it again. I Africa dramatic projects are being initiated, showing simple planting of trees can turn barren land into a lush green habitat that will even bring rain to the desert.
Robocolonialism is a part of the roboeconomy, the economy correctly adapted to the use of robots, not putting people out of work, but providing cheaper and even free products to all. Robocolonialism is the process of terraforming earth so to say, remote regions being revived by armies of robots that work the land, plant trees and other plants, make sure rain is stored underground and doesn’t flush the topsoil away in a once a year flood. Robocolonialism can be the answer to the question “How to use the vase empty (and usually hot) spaces to reabsorb atmospheric carbon to secure the current evolutionary shift on Earth? “. You can move to Mars, but why not revive this planet before it goes through a true death cycle. How are we going to do that? We need machines to help us.
Of course one could start martian colonies in regions currently uninhabited and unable to sustain much life. This is part of the extraeconomic approach which does not seek to economically exploit a region, which does not tie into a global economy but juse aims to generate resources, capture carbon and sustain its inhabitants. As Trump breaks down global security the world is (at least until flight is electric or XtoGas technologies are immature) moving to a more local renewable based model in which the resources have to be local anyway. All this is not a deterioration of our wealth, health and happiness but a vast improvement. The renewable resources are more than 2500 times more abundant than the now hard fought fossil ones, so wealth will explode in this century.
We propose to build a robocolonialst drone that can sail to the barren coast of Namibia and autonomously plant and irrigate trees. First step is the autonous sailing drone, which actually is not that hard to make. Second is the addition of a desalination plant based on solar, and a rover able to deploy the irrigation tube and plant the tree seeds. In general we need much more technology (and we already have) for making land able to sustain life. Agiculture is so focussed on producing massive amounts of food that the potential to envigorate barren regions with only tiny tweaks is overlooked, even though there is certainly something to gain. The reason is as always the desire of the energy and banking sector to make money, which both run against anything that is autonomously sustainable.
Our base drone will use a Lora transmitter to report back, its own computer to control itself and GPS navigation to get to its destination. We hope to gather interest for this project and hope to learn about roboeconomic activities elsewhere. Just like fossil fuel is pushing the planet to the precipice of human extinction, automation and renewables combined can counter that process and stop it dead in its tracks. Let robots colonize our planet where humans can’t live, and turn into the paradise it was before we started burning things..