Posted Dec 18th 2012 4:59PM
It isn't that uncommon for people to pick up second jobs during the holidays to help relieve some of the financial stress, but apparently our automaton friends feel the fiscal pinch this time of year, too. A handful of General Motors assembly line robots are picking up some extra shifts at Santa's workshop this year wrapping presents.
In addition to stuffing and wrapping boxes, the robots' duties also include spot welding labels onto the gifts (who even knew that was possible?). The work looks boring and monotonous, but at least these GM robots were able to find a second job rather than resorting to committing suicide.
Watch the elves and robots team up to get presents wrapped in the video below, so Santa can deliver them to children in his fancy sleigh: a 45th Anniversary Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible.
GM Manufacturing Robots Send Holiday Greetings
Some of 25,000 robots used globally pause for present packing
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A few of General Motors' 25,000 manufacturing robots are taking a break from their daily welding, fastening and painting chores to spread some holiday cheer.
Of course, it's a strictly programmed activity, not a rogue rise of the machines. While unusual, the ho, ho, ho-larious task is just an offshoot of GM's drive to develop flexible manufacturing systems. GM has influenced the development of a variety of robots – including those used in stamping, welding, painting, and assembly.
Fifty years ago, GM manufacturing engineers helped define the robotics industry. The company's 1961 collaboration with "Father of Robotics" Joseph Engelberger resulted in the first industrial robot used in a GM production facility, and is generally regarded as a technological/industrial milestone.
GM also played a key role in development of the robotics industry with the 1982 establishment of the GMFanuc joint venture. FANUC, as it is known today, is one of the world's largest makers of industrial robots.
GM still leads the industry in the development and use of commercial robotics in its manufacturing processes, purchasing and implementing approximately 3,000 robots globally each year.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM's brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
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