I was picking up sticks the other day because we have an old fashioned wood burning furnace. It is fun to get outside, and picking up sticks is like getting money off the ground. We used to pay $600 a month in heating oil. But with this furnace, we pay way less than that. Imagine a furnace using 20 logs a day. $600/month /30days/month=$20 a day. If you use 20 logs a day and the cost in oil was $20. That is like 1 log is 1$ in the cost of oil. So if you go pick up the equivalent of 6 logs an hour, that is $6/hr which is close to minimum wage.
I was thinking though: What if someone made a robot controlled by a cell phone, and its job was to collect sticks. It wasn’t run by AI. It is run by the internet and video connection on the phone controlled by trusted employees on the Internet. It could redundantly stream to twitch.tv for security and psyching everyone to want to be a Waldo controller.
You could do this for many many jobs. You could even base the job out of a country with no minimum wage as the data center(anyone in the world who qualifies as an operator could work for you though). So people could be being paid very little, but they’d do it just cuz it is so cool. After the robot cost and maintaince, fuel, and the low profit of the jobs they’d be doing anyway, you probably couldn’t pay minimum wage to begin with.
This is just a random thought that I bet would work. Make a robot that picks up sticks, another that drives a cart you put sticks in, and if you want to get fancy, have it have some way to load a tractor trailer slowly. So the only thing a person gotta do is collect the tractor trailor full of sticks every few days. I guess some sort of refueling mechanism would be needed. No AI needed, you get Internet employees to do all the stuff for you.