Flashback Friday: 3M brings their robot to the Brown County Fair

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — We are just under two weeks away from the start of the Sioux Empire fair. A staple of any fair are the rides and exhibits fairgoers can take in. In this week’s Flashback Friday, we take you back to 1983 and show you a fair exhibit that gave people a glimpse into the future.

At county fairs, you usually see animals like these, but at this fair, there was a different sort of creature. One that many people had never seen before. He’s only two feet tall and has but one arm. His name’s Hero, and the poor thing’s self-conscious about being short and getting stared at.

“People stare at me a lot. I suppose it’s because I am so short.”

Hero was brought to the fair by the 3M company. They use the robot to try to make people less fearful of the coming robot age. Some people fear losing their jobs to robots, but not so says Hero’s keeper.

“Instead of taking over a person’s job, what the robot will do, the person that used to do the job will end up, they’ll teach the robot how to do the job. Then they sit back and just mainly supervise the robot. They’ll supply it with necessary parts and correct any jam ups would occur at the time.”

Hero costs about $1,500 if you do the work putting him together. But Lowe says just like computers and pocket calculators, that price will come down.

“The next 10 to 15 years, they figure just about any household around will probably, they’s start cropping up here and there. In about 20 years or so, I’d say about everybody will have one in there house.”

Hopefully those robots will be just as polite as Hero, and give things back after they’ve used them. Dan Swanson, KELOLAND News, Brown County.

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