Robot sales and growth are solid but not yet showing growth that might drive mass human unemployment

Robots for the automation of industrial tasks are on the rise in North America, according to a recently-released industry report from the Association for Advancing Automation. More than $800 million in orders were placed in the first half of 2016, setting a new purchasing high for the industry of 14,583 robots. This represents a 2% increase over the same period in 2015, which was itself a record-setter, according to the report. Automotive OEMs and component suppliers were primary drivers for the market.

Sales for the global robotics industry in 2014 were $10.7 billion, a 13% increase over 2013. There are now about 1.5 million robots at work globally, an increase of 11% over 2013. Adding supporting services such as integration, accessories, peripherals, software and systems engineering at a 3X multiplier, worldwide 2014 sales are estimated to be $32 billion.

The report suggests that rapid automation in China and global competition of industrial production are the main drivers for the sustained growth forecasts.

SOURCES – EEtimes, IFR World Robotics, The Robot Report