Robotics is a multi-billion dollar market, yet we continue to see the vast majority of industries slow to adopt this technology. Why does the rate of adoption of technologies, including robotics, which can greatly increase productivity and employee wellness in the workplace, lag behind the rate of innovation? Several factors generally come into play, chief among them lack of knowledge and understanding of what is available and relevant to a given enterprise, uncertainty surrounding the risks of adoption from a regulatory standpoint, and fears surrounding potential injury to workers caused by human-robot interaction.

While any injury to a worker caused by a robot will always cause attention-grabbing headlines, what companies cannot and rarely take into account is the number of worker injuries prevented by the adoption of industrial robots and collaborative robots (those designed to share space with and work alongside their human co-workers). Even decades ago, when the focus was on automation of the easier and more obvious repetitive, dull, dirty and dangerous tasks, we witnessed how the introduction of industrial robots on the factory floor reduced incidents of injury associated with highly hazardous activities. Rather than having a human hand crushed while positioning metal into a press for example, a robot could do the positioning. Whereas robots are replaceable, a human hand can be irreparably damaged.

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