Friday, April 15, 2011

I love my job.

Sure, I'd rather be writing novels, but this ain't bad. I work at Autonomous Solutions, Inc. We make robots. And by "we" I mean "my coworkers." I test and write user manuals, mostly. Sometimes I get to make things like this:
Automated Vehicle Warning Sticker

Get the point? I was inspired by a John Deere tractor manual with a drawing of a person's entire body wrapped neatly around a driveshaft several times. No blood. No bones sticking out. Unless you're Elastigirl, you can imagine how uncomfortable it would be.

Our robots aren't stationary industrial robots. They're mobile. Most have steering wheels, which means they were originally meant to be driven by humans. Most retain that capability, and can switch between manual and auto modes. In auto mode, actuators work the brakes, gas pedal, and gear shift. A motor of one sort or another turns the steering wheel much faster than a person ever could. We've automated everything from golf carts to mining haul trucks.

I do the opposite in the novel I'm writing. I take people and stick them in vehicles that were designed to be unmanned. We make robots to do the dull, dirty, or dangerous jobs. But throughout human history, there have always been people to do them for one reason or another, even if it means death. Drivers is about one of those people and his reasons. I'm 45,000 words into it.

Another fun thing I get to do at work is make movies.

3 comments:

  1. That's not you at 1:46, is it?

    Totally a cool job. (Inside I'm thinking "I bet that pays well," lol, because I'm in a job that does not pay well, and I'm thinking about going to law school.)

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  2. Nope. Not me. The only traces of myself I've put in a company video are my voice and my hands.

    (It would take a pretty awful job to get me to consider law school:)

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  3. Love that warning sticker! I need one for my car, just to make people wonder.

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