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Robotic orders soar amid labor shortage

North American companies have acquired 29,000 robots in the first nine months of 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported. By doing so, employers were trying to solve the problem of labor shortages.

In the first nine months of 2021, North American firms spent $1.48 billion to purchase 29,000 robots. Meanwhile, total robotic sales amounted to $1.09 billion in the previous year. Earlier, spendings on robotics hit a record high ($1.47 billion) in 2017.

The US economy is facing an acute labor shortage, President at Association for Advancing Automation Jeff Burnstein said. This problem has affected all industries, the expert emphasized, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and the supply chain issue as a reason.

In the third quarter of 2021, North American firms ordered 9,900 robots. Some 6,300 of them were intended to be used in the non-automotive sector. The metal industry needs industrial robots more than any other field. Its expenses on robotics have soared three times compared to previous years.

High demand for robots has been recorded in industries such as food (by 40%) and consumer goods (by 26%). The use of machines by semiconductor manufacturers rose by 26%. All in all, the industrial robotics market is forecast to expand by $42.29 billion by 2026.

The XPeng founder predicts that all automakers will become both car makers and robotics companies. XPeng is looking at robots as a transportation tool “in a low-speed and random environment.”


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