Apparently “fan out” is the term for the robot to human ratio in a man-machine relationship.
“In USAR, the effective number of robots controlled by a single human operator has a formal term: fan out… Ironically, fielded robots have very low fan out scores today. For instance, the Predator-class drones, unmanned aerial vehicles that fight proxy battles for the United States in distant lands, have a fan out of less than 0.2. That is, more than five people are required at all times, just to manage a single robot. In USAR, researchers have begun to demonstrate ever-increasing fan out — exceeding 6.0 — by providing the robots with more and more autonomy so that the human operator is only responsible for the most strategic decisions, with robots making every tactical choice.”
This is another variable I wouldn’t mind seeing plotted against time as a possible indicator of technological unemployment. Within the scope of a particular industry or robotic application, one might expect to see this variable steadily increase.
Tip via: Marginal Revolution