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Robots working in a manufacturing plant.

Factory Robots

Factories first began using modern industrial robots in the early 1960s. These robots could do the dirty, dull, and dangerous jobs that were previously completed by humans. Since then, factories all over the world have invested millions of dollars to develop and build robots that can manufacture their products quickly and efficiently.

Factory robots are always being improved upon as new technology is expanded. New metals and materials allow robots to be used in high pressure or high temperature environments. Usually separated to keep human workers safe in case of an accident, factory robots are being made from new “softer” materials. These materials, such as rubber and plastic, can help reduce injuries in a robot/human collision. With the introduction of artificial intelligence and sensors, factory robots can be “taught” new ways of delivering these products overnight and adapt their movements in real time. This allows more productivity and precision.

Factory robots are used in the production of many products, but the top three robotic jobs in manufacturing are:

  • Drilling

  • Welding

  • Painting and Sealing

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To relate this activity to robotics and employment, ask students to research the top ten jobs that are most likely to be replaced by robots in the future, the top ten jobs that are least likely to be replaced, and the reasoning behind these projections.