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Cobots serve as legitimate replacements for human workers in certain instances, especially in the constrained labor market. Worker shortages have forced companies to find solutions to maintain their business models by reengineering operations so that machines complete tasks previously handled by humans. In addition to market pressures, legislation is serving as an additional driver of this accelerated adoption. The Warehouse Worker Protection Act, signed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in December, is designed to “protect warehouse distribution workers from undisclosed or unlawful work speed quotas, and includes protections for workers who fail to meet unlawful quotas.” This legislation is aimed at companies that have stringent production quotas in their warehouses and along the supply chain. For a company looking to maintain production schedules, robotics offer a solution that requires some up-front investment, but eliminates regulatory jeopardy. This will likely lead to a reduction in the number of human employees across warehousing and distribution, as well as other labor-intensive industries like agriculture.

Accelerated adoption

KEY TRENDS

Robots are becoming scalable