Does "Made in the USA" have a future? According to UC Berkeley robotics pioneer Ken Goldberg and mechanical engineering professor Vijay Kumar of the University of Pennsylvania, US manufacturing could be revived with a rigorous "science of cost-effective, resource-efficient manufacturing." They published their riff as an editorial in today's San Jose Mercury News. From the essay:
Just as the method to add two numbers together doesn't depend on what kind of pencil you use, manufacturing abstractions can be wholly independent of the product one is making or the assembly line systems used to assemble it. Another precedent is the Turing Machine, an elegant abstract model invented by Alan Turing in the 1930s, which established the mathematical and scientific foundations for our now-successful high-tech industries. Without Turing's theoretical work, the system that typeset this line wouldn't exist.
What's needed today is an analogy to the Turing Machine for design, automation and manufacturing.