(p. B4) Robots are moving off the assembly line.
Collaborative robots that work alongside humans–“cobots”–are getting cheaper and easier to program. That is encouraging businesses to put them to work at new tasks in bars, restaurants and clinics.
In the Netherlands, a cobot scales a 26-foot-high bar to tap bottles of homemade gin, whiskey and limoncello so that bartenders don’t need to climb ladders. In Japan, a cobot boxes takeout dumplings. In Singapore, robots give soft-tissue massages.
Cobots made up just 5% of the $14 billion industrial-robot market in 2017, according to research by Minneapolis-based venture-capital firm Loup Ventures. Loup estimates sales will jump to 27% of a $33 billion market by 2025 as demand for the robotic arms rises. About 20 manufacturers around the world have started selling such robots in the past decade.
For the full story, see:
Natasha Khan. “Robots Shift From Factories to New Jobs.” The Wall Street Journal (Monday, June 11, 2018): B4.
(Note: the online version of the story has the date June 9, 2018, and has the title “Your Next Robot Encounter: Dinner, Drinks and a Massage.”)