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Insights: How Robots Will Lead To More Jobs

March 15, 2017 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated April 30, 2020 16:04 PM UTC

Universal Robots' Douglas Peterson sees a future of 'man with machine.' (March 2017)

[MUSIC PLAYING] DOUGLAS PETERSON: You say man versus machine. We say, man with machine because, in our view, it's the employee, man or woman, that's deploying the machine. So they work right alongside it. From a small and medium enterprise, from the ownership standpoint, you don't have to reconfigure the process. You're not having to rearrange equipment as much as you would with more traditional robot. You can put that robot right in place, easily mount it, plug it into the wall, start programming it, and what's happening is the employees themselves are thinking of new ways to deploy the robot in the manufacturing environment. ANDREW NUSCA: Tell me a little bit about how you look at the deployment of robots, and then also the retraining of existing workers right because that's the argument the technology doesn't destroy jobs, but it's certainly kind of redoes them DOUGLAS PETERSON: Well, I think awareness and training is key, is key to really exploding this market of collaborative robots. We have a partner in Ohio, RAMTEC, and they're an educational organization that trains on robotics and machine tools and all kinds of different manufacturing technology. And they estimated in Ohio alone that there's a gap. There's 60,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs. And so their mission is to train more employees out of high school, retrain existing workers in the workforce to be able to implement automation and implement robotics. They also estimate that by the end of the year 2020, there might be upwards of 2 million unfilled manufacturing jobs. So by getting people trained, getting robots deployed, those robots can then be used to cover and close the shortage in manufacturing labor shortages of those 2 million and just continue to kind of close that gap and make companies more competitive.