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Are Robots Replacing Human Workers or Complementing Their Work?

By Tracey E. Schelmetic
July 15, 2022

Are automated manufacturing technologies such as robots taking up human jobs? That depends on who you ask. A recent study entitled, “Veo Robotics’ 2022 Manufacturing Automation Outlook” found that 57 percent of manufacturers believe robots aren’t taking human jobs, but simply working alongside them to complement their work with a bit of artificial intelligence and robotic strength and precision.

Veo Robotics, creator of FreeMove, a comprehensive 3D safeguarding system for industrial robots that powers dynamic human-robot collaboration, said the study finds that most companies that use robotic technology are finding that they improve the human workforce’s jobs.

“Our findings highlight that the majority of manufacturers are increasing automation with the goal of robots working alongside human co-workers rather than directly replacing them,” said Patrick Sobalvarro, CEO and co-founder of Veo Robotics. “We find that using robots increases the productivity and the value of human workers, freeing them to use their intelligence, judgment, and dexterity in their work.”

The study is timely as the global market for robotics technology is soaring. North American robot purchases reached a record high in 2021, and global sales are expected to increase to $31 billion by 2028.

The Outlook also found that 61 percent of manufacturers say that human-robot interaction within their facilities has increased over the last year. The data point highlights how humans increasingly work alongside robot co-workers post-pandemic as manufacturers grapple with inflation, ongoing supply chain issues, and unprecedented labor shortages. Nearly all manufacturers are looking to automate more operations, including turning to robots to handle mundane, repetitive, or overly risky tasks.

As speculation about the effect of robots on local jobs markets continues to contribute to mixed public opinion, Veo Robotics’ data suggests most manufacturing professionals do not believe that their jobs are at risk due to the increased adoption of robots.

Edited by Erik Linask

SmartCity Contributor

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