robot recap: collaborative robots, automation and a splash of william shakespeare

in rethinking robotics, trending now by Jeff Green

The Rise of Factory Automation in China – Imagine a labor shortage in a country with a population of more than 1.4 billion. While not easy to fathom, it certainly is the case for this manufacturing powerhouse. And in an effort to retain that status, “the rise of factory automation in China has been rapid and unprecedented. According to estimates by the International Federation of Robotics, global robot sales surged by a massive 29% to an all-time high of 229,261 units in 2014. You can see this trend in the graph below. The increase was fueled by factory automation in China, particularly in the automotive and electronics sectors.” Read more about China’s robot revolution from Aberdeen’s Asian Equities Team here.

Worldwide annual supply of industrial robots by International Federation of Robotics (IFR) via Market Realist

Are Robots Taking Our Jobs? – That is the question. But fear not, readers. The factory of the future, or the factory of now in many cases, has collaborative robots and humans working side by side. Author Zachary Smith breaks it down like this – “What the immediate future holds for us is most likely a partnership with the robots.” Smith goes on to back that forecast up – “During non-recessionary periods of years since 1996, the use of robots in manufacturing is associated with increased employment.” And that is the answer. Read on, Macduff.*

Inside One of Amazon’s Robot-Driven Fulfillment Centers – It began looking a lot like Christmas way back on Cyber Monday at Amazon’s fulfillment centers.  “Humans, armed with ever-present bar-code readers, log the goods at every step along the way so the computer can keep track of them.” And then robots roll in to take each shelving tower of items to the next destination on their packaging journey, with many headed over to gift wrapping stations. Take a look at this chaotic, yet orderly process, where technology and humans join forces to ensure presents are received in time for the big day on Friday.

Next, check out the rest of the Rethink Robotics blog for more news, videos and announcements about collaborative robots. And be sure to connect with us on Twitter for a daily dose of robotics chatter.

*Thank you, William Shakespeare.

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About the Author

Jeff Green

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.

1 comment on this article

The Ever Increasing Role of Robotics in Manufacturing January 27, 2016 at 7:55 pm

[…] is growing, and China represents one of the largest labor shortages in the world. According to Jeff Green of Rethink Robotics, China sought to fulfill this gap by ordering an unprecedented amount of robots to supplement the […]

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