Robots used to be big investments for top companies, but they’re now mainstays for most businesses in 2022. The Association for Advanced Automation revealed that factories and other industrial businesses have ordered as many as 29,000 robots in 2021. This is a 37% increase from the total number of robots that businesses invested in the year before.
One can only expect that the demand for robots will rise in the years to come, largely due to the changes within the business world.
Why We’re Seeing More Robots in Different Industries
Industrial robots have been helping out in the supply chain for years. However, in 2022, consumers are now starting to encounter robots in their local Walgreens and Walmart stores. This robot boom can largely be attributed to the events of the past few years.
With the Great Resignation becoming a concern for businesses, Molly Harnischfeger of AlixPartners emphasized that companies are rapidly investing in robots to ease the labor shortage. Now that new employees are harder to find and retain, businesses like Starbucks are replacing cashiers with tables, while Sam’s Club is using robots to clean the store and do inventory.
This is convenient for businesses since shoppers and diners can get impatient with the consequences of staffing shortages. Customers are more likely to have negative experiences with business due to the labor crunch in the US. As a result, more industries are investing in robots that can improve both their customers’ and employees’ experiences.
Will Robots Replace Human Workers?
While robots may serve as a solution for the struggling labor market, they aren’t designed to replace employees in any way. In fact, robots can support businesses while empowering employees at the same time.
The robot apocalypse is definitely more hype than reality since robots are designed to help workers by taking care of laborious and time-intensive tasks. For example, LHH uses a chatbot to assist human workers in the outplacement process. The chatbot leverages AI to sift through numerous resumes and objectively identify the best candidates, making it a win-win situation for both HR professionals and job candidates. Through this innovation, employees can focus on tasks that require greater skill and knowledge, such as interviews or even training programs.
While there is a high demand for industrial robots that can handle repetitive and laborious tasks, experts are estimating that autonomous mobile robots will soon take over this year. In fact, consultancy company Gartner Research predicts that collaborative robots will soon boom in popularity in various industries. They are designed to work alongside humans, and it is expected to grow to be an $8 billion market within the next decade.
While these robots are already advanced for their time, there’s always room for innovation in various industries. Businesses will continue to invest in robots that can streamline work processes, but employees will always remain valuable resources that handle specialized skills and provide in-depth knowledge.