We seem to be experiencing a lull in robots stealing jobs stories. Perhaps it’s the end of summer and we’ve gotten out of the sun, back to the real world, so smarter heads are prevailing around this controversial topic. Or maybe it’s because early results are becoming available, and the reality has been much different than the speculation. Regardless, let’s take a stroll down reality lane through a few recent industry headlines, to see how collaborative robots are impacting jobs and the humans who hold them.
Amazon’s global work force is three times larger than Microsoft’s and 18 times larger than Facebook’s, and last week, Amazon said it would open a second headquarters in North America with up to 50,000 new jobs. via New York Times
The days of “dumb” production line robots that repetitively weld or rivet in a preprogrammed sequence without fail are coming to an end. Tomorrow’s factories will run themselves and coordinate along the entire supply chain, with human oversight of course, but they won’t look — or operate — like any manufacturing facility you’ve seen before. via Engadget
We only have to look at the top three most competitive countries to understand what’s driving economic growth for their businesses and prosperity for their citizens; the common thread is aggressive adoption of automation. These countries consider robots the fuel that will ignite business growth, enable humans to do more productive and meaningful work, and expand overall economies. via TechCrunch
Automation is increasing in industries like automotive and electronics manufacturing and making speedy inroads in order fulfillment warehouses. As prices for task versatile platforms fall, small- and mid-sized manufacturers are starting to employ robots. Even so, a plausible future that sees robots replacing industrial workers entirely is far on the horizon, and in the meantime, with the economics favoring a hybrid approach, safety is of primary concern. via ZDNet
For more headlines, videos and news about collaborative robots, the workforce of the future and manufacturing automation, check out the rest of the Rethink Robotics blog or drop by Cobot Central. And for a daily dose of industrial chatter, connect with us on the Twitter machine.
About the Author
I'm Jeff Green, senior content and social media strategist at Rethink Robotics. When I'm not socializing Sawyer and Baxter, our smart, collaborative robots, I'm usually caught up in the home tornado, also known as my three kids. Love them, my wife, old-school Chinese food, movies, and of course game-changing technology.