Almost everyone knows that the future lies in automation. Industrial robotics leads the way for most manufacturing economies around the world. And now, the use of robotics in manufacturing is showing promise and growth in the United States as well.
Advanced and specialized manufacturing has become a necessary part of our industry’s expansion. The days of reserving robotics exclusively for the automotive industry are gone. We need them in every form of manufacturing, from precision defense-based manufacturing to small and medium sized enterprises. Robotics are continuously changing and revolutionizing the industry by becoming smarter, more efficient, and more cost-effective. Nevertheless, fears about the consistency of work and the need for human labor continue to rise in response to the presence of advanced manufacturing.
What can automation do and why so much popularity recently?
Imagine robots being trained by people to do tasks, adapting at whatever difficulty, and even creating new practical approaches towards outdated methods. This requires a huge investment in research in everything from sensor technologies to artificial intelligence. The old robot was unilateral, not adaptable, and could cause danger in human interaction. The industrial robot of tomorrow should think creatively alongside humans, to solve problems. It should also solve multiple tasks and could oversee everything from testing products to packaging.
What does Collaboration look like?
This integration of robots as a primary part of the manufacturing industry will also change how we see our employee and management roles in the workplace. While market moguls like Mark Cuban (who recently demanded that President Trump invests over $100 Billion in robotics research) require an increase in automation, Cuban and his contemporaries also see the role of the human laborer changing. STEM abilities come into play with design, engineering, and technology interaction based capacities for the future manufacturing worker. Soft skills also become desirable for future employees in the transition towards automation. Programming is necessary, but finding creative solutions to the problems that will arise in that future economy is more pivotal. Humans will work with automated robotics in the future mechanical manufacturing industry, and not only in repairs.
Job Taker or Creator?
So, is the market going to be overtaken by “bot-sourcing?” The chances are that while you’ll see more robots on the manufacturing floor, you’ll also see humans at their side providing skills and abilities that robots may not have. The role of the human worker will not disappear, but change to fit with automation technologies. This means we need to train a future workforce to be adaptable and embrace the robotics revolution that is here.
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