reality versus myth: cobots improve jobs vs. eliminating them

in rethinking robotics by Jim Lawton

Collaborative robots improve jobs instead of eliminating them.

You can find lots of hype about how robots will eliminate jobs. The World Economic Forum, for example, trumpeted in January 2016 “that over five million jobs will be lost by 2020 as a result of developments in genetics, artificial intelligence, robotics, and other technological change.”

The story that isn’t being told, however, is that collaborative robots like Baxter and Sawyer help improve workers’ job satisfaction by taking on the mind-numbing tasks that make them unhappy – like putting parts on a rack or loading and unloading a machine.

By putting the robot to work, manufacturers can allocate people to higher-value tasks. The result: Productivity improves – as does job satisfaction and worker retention.

To see how manufacturers of all sizes are using smart, collaborative robots on the factory floor, take a look at the Rethink Robotics video gallery. Also, subscribe above to receive the next Cobot Recap and other blog post alerts delivered right to your inbox.


About the Author

Jim Lawton

Jim had a choice upon graduating from Tufts University – chase a dream as a concert pianist or become part of the inaugural Leaders for Manufacturing Program at MIT. He chose the latter– dedicating his career to developing and delivering innovative solutions that improve the business of manufacturing. Internally at HP, and then at breakthrough start-ups in e-commerce, inventory optimization and supply chain risk management, Jim’s never once looked back. His charter today: capture the power of data and analytics to push the standard for world-class manufacturing higher—once again.

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