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[Slashdot] - America Is Hiring a Record Number of Robots


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An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: Companies in North America added a record number of robots in the first nine months of this year as they rushed to speed up assembly lines and struggled to add human workers. Factories and other industrial users ordered 29,000 robots, 37% more than during the same period last year, valued at $1.48 billion, according to data compiled by the industry group the Association for Advancing Automation. That surpassed the previous peak set in the same time period in 2017, before the global pandemic upended economies. The rush to add robots is part of a larger upswing in investment as companies seek to keep up with strong demand, which in some cases has contributed to shortages of key goods. At the same time, many firms have struggled to lure back workers displaced by the pandemic and view robots as an alternative to adding human muscle on their assembly lines. Robots also continue to push into more corners of the economy. Auto companies have long bought most industrial robots. But in 2020, combined sales to other types of businesses surpassed the auto sector for the first time -- and that trend continued this year. In the first nine months of the year, auto-related orders for robots grew 20% to 12,544 units, according to A3, while orders by non-automotive companies expanded 53% to 16,355.

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