The Robots are Coming North America Sets Robotics Sales Records in 2015

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If the world is marching inexorably towards the inevitable robot apocalypse, then North America may be paving the way for our future robot overlords.
In 2015, the Robotics Industries Association reported that the North American Robotics Market reached record levels. In the first half of 2015, a record 14,232 robots were ordered from North American robotics companies, with the robots valued at an estimated $840 million. By the end of 2015, that number would more than double. According to the RIA, 31,464 robots valued at $1.8 billion were ordered last year, a 14% increase in robots since 2014.
To be clear, those numbers only include industrial robotics, the kind used to automate a variety of industrial processes. More than 1 million commercial drones were also sold in the U.S. alone last year. Like something out of a 1950s science fiction novel, the 21st century is increasingly being shaped by the robotics industry. The record-setting sales have huge implications for a variety of industries, from the auto world to recruiting firms.
So what kinds of robots are North American companies ordering? According to the RIA, “the fastest growing applications for robot orders in North America in 2015 were Coating and Dispensing (+49%), Material Handling (+24%), and Spot Welding (+22%). RIA estimates that some 260,000 robots are now at use in North American factories, which is third to Japan and China in robot use.”
While many workers have lingering anxieties about automation, robots, and the future of labor, the robotics industry has also created a number of new jobs for programmers, engineers, and integrators, who help install robots. The RIA maintains that the robotics industry has actually contributed to net job growth, at a time when U.S. unemployment is at an eight-year low of 4.9%.
Any recruiting company looking to stay on the cutting edge would do well to take note of the robotics trends, and so too would young people looking towards the in-demand careers of the future. While companies looking to fill supply chain jobs might be eyeing automation, it takes a small army of engineers and programmers to build, install and service the 31,464 robots ordered in North America last year.
?Today there are more opportunities than ever before in the robotics industry,? said Jeff Burnstein, President of RIA. ?The continuing growth in robotics is opening many new job opportunities for people who can program, install, run, and maintain robots. In fact, if you look closer at the jobs discussion, automation is helping to save and create jobs.?

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