Changing Workforce / Industrial Robotics

Robots descending on Michigan industrial workplaces in record numbers

By the Detroit Free Press

Nov 07, 2017

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Go on, touch the robot.

That's what engineering manager Tom Borro told every worker at an auto supplier factory to do when the first of six "collaborative" robots arrived last year. The idea, he said, was to make assembly line employees comfortable with their newest, mechanical colleagues known colloquially as co-bots.

Across the U.S. landscape, industrial robots are landing unevenly. So far, Detroit has been the biggest target.

Metro Detroit has more more than 15,000 industrial robots in place or 8½ for every 1,000 workers, according to a Brookings Institution study published this summer. That's almost five times the number of any other major U.S. city.

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