Working Relationship with Robots Will Lead to New Opportunities

February 6, 2013

Implementing automation allows companies to be more — to be more productive, to be more globally competitive, to be more efficient. Reflecting on the history of technology and economy, we know that automation is a dynamic force in industry. Kevin Kelly predicts a future of automation that will surprise us — technology that performs jobs we never knew needed doing and that gives us opportunities we are just beginning to understand.

Better Than Human: Why Robots Will — And Must — Take Our Jobs
by Kevin Kelly

That may be true of making stuff, but a lot of jobs left in the world for humans are service jobs. I ask Brooks to walk with me through a local McDonald’s and point out the jobs that his kind of robots can replace. He demurs and suggests it might be 30 years before robots will cook for us. “In a fast food place you’re not doing the same task very long. You’re always changing things on the fly, so you need special solutions. We are not trying to sell a specific solution. We are building a general-purpose machine that other workers can set up themselves and work alongside.” And once we can cowork with robots right next to us, it’s inevitable that our tasks will bleed together, and soon our old work will become theirs—and our new work will become something we can hardly imagine.

To understand how robot replacement will happen, it’s useful to break down our relationship with robots into four categories, as summed up in this chart:

The rows indicate whether robots will take over existing jobs or make new ones, and the columns indicate whether these jobs seem (at first) like jobs for humans or for machines. […]

We need to let robots take over. They will do jobs we have been doing, and do them much better than we can. They will do jobs we can’t do at all. They will do jobs we never imagined even needed to be done. And they will help us discover new jobs for ourselves, new tasks that expand who we are. They will let us focus on becoming more human than we were.

Read the full article at Wired. What do you think of Kelly’s conclusions? What new tasks do you see us delegating to automation? How will the proliferation of robotics expand our own capabilities?


Robots Allow Humans to Innovate the Future

February 4, 2013

As robotics and automation become increasingly important to American industry, their implementation raises a certain number of questions, mostly concerned with the interaction between technology and human worker. Some people would say that the adoption of robotics will lead to vast unemployment and the widening gap of wealth. But many other people would counter that these alarmists aren’t seeing the whole picture–

Man vs. robot
by Peter Nowak

It’s easy to tell when a new technology has reached critical mass – discussions over its long-term effects start kicking into overdrive. That’s happening now with robots and how they are going to affect the human job market.

Conventional thinking has always held that automation and robots have historically been good things, because when a machine takes over a task, the human who used to do it is forced to do something smarter and better. This has had traditional repercussions both great and small, from auto assembly line workers necessarily having to upgrade their skills or maybe even start their own businesses, to regular people simply not having to remember minutiae like phone numbers because machines do it for them. Machines have traditionally freed our brains to worry about other, more important stuff.

However, in a recent 60 Minutes interview, MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Bruce Welty raised a worrying issue – that robotic development has now reached the exponential phase, which means that machines are taking over human tasks faster than humans can come up with new and better things to do. […]

Wired writer Kevin Kelly, on the other hand, takes a more optimistic approach when he says that we can’t even imagine the jobs we’ll create because of this increasing automation. Humans’ role in the future will thus be the same as it is now: to create jobs that only people can do at first, with those tasks eventually falling to machines, whereupon the cycle will keep repeating.

Read the full article at Macleans. What are your thoughts? What sort of highly-automated world can you imagine? What sort of creativity will we employ as we start creating new jobs?


Automation Industry Association Criticizes 60 Minutes Segment ‘March of the Machines’

January 15, 2013

Following the 60 Minutes report “March of the Machines” on January 13, the Association for Advancing Automation (umbrella trade association for the RIA, AIA, and MCA) issued the following response–

The Association for Advancing Automation (A3), the global advocate for the automation industry, is disappointed in how 60 Minutes portrayed the industry in Sunday night’s “March of the Machines” segment.

“While the 60 Minutes depiction of how technological advances in automation and robotics are revolutionizing the workplace was spot on, their focus on how implementation of these automation technologies eliminates jobs could not be more wrong,” said Jeff Burnstein, President of A3, a trade group representing some 650 companies from 32 countries involved in robotics, vision, and motion control technologies. “We provided 60 Minutes producers several examples of innovative American companies who have used automation to become stronger global competitors, saving and creating more jobs while producing higher quality and lower cost products, rather than closing up shop or sending jobs overseas. They unfortunately chose not to include these companies in their segment. With respect to MIT Professors Brynjolfsson and McAfee who gave their viewpoint in the piece, they are missing the bigger picture.”

To see the real story in action, A3 is urging people to attend Automate 2013, the industry’s premier trade show which is held in Chicago, Illinois next week. (January 21-24, 2013; McCormick Place; www.automate2013.com) With over 8,000 attendees from around the world, Automate showcases the full spectrum of automation technologies and solutions that are being utilized in many different industries. For free admission to the show, register atwww.automate2013.com. Several Automate speakers will address how robots are saving and creating jobs.

“To paint advances in technology as just taking jobs is very one-sided,” stated Dr. Henrik Christensen, KUKA Chair of Robotics & Director of Robotics, Georgia Institute of Technology. “Studies have shown that 1.3 better, higher paying jobs are created in associated areas for every one job that may be insourced. In fact, the larger issue is companies are having trouble finding qualified employees to fill these high tech job openings. We instead should focus on how best to educate our workforce in the United States so that we can remain the leader in automation technologies.” Dr. Christensen will be the keynote speaker at Automate 2013 on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 8:45 am. He will be speaking on how robotics impact economic growth. The keynote is free for registrants.

Another highlight at Automate is a conference session led by company executives who will share their success with using automation technologies. (January 22, 2013; 10:00 am – 12:00 pm) The session will feature Drew Greenblatt, President & Owner of Marlin Steel and Matt Tyler, President & CEO of Vickers Engineering, who will share how they successfully implemented automation technologies instead of going out of business or sending manufacturing overseas. Today they are thriving businesses and have increased hiring with better, higher paying jobs. Later, both Greenblatt and Tyler will participate in the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) CEO Round Table Discussion on ‘How Robots Create Jobs.’ (January 22, 2013; 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm) The results of a recent study conducted by the IFR on the impact of industrial robots on employment will also be discussed.

“Automation creates jobs in the United States,” said Greenblatt. “Marlin Steel is hiring people because our robots make us more productive, so we are price competitive with China. Our quality is consistent and superior, and we ship much faster. Our mechanical engineers can design material handling baskets more creatively since we can make more precise parts. Our employees have gone 1,492 days without a safety incident because robots can do the more difficult jobs while our employees can focus on growing the business. American manufacturing’s embrace of robotics will ensure a new manufacturing renaissance in this country.”

“Roughly 90% of our automated cells are producing parts that were previously made off shore while the other 10% were also globally competitive, strictly due to automation,” said Tyler. “Automation has not only allowed us to bring more jobs back to the United States due to our ‘new’ cost structure, but our profit margin has increased. This ultimately allows us to fund additional growth, which in turn creates more stateside jobs.”

For information on how to obtain press credentials for Automate, please contact Bob Doyle at (734) 994-6088 or bdoyle@A3automate.org.

A3 is the umbrella group for Robotic Industries Association (RIA), AIA – Advancing Vision + Imaging, and Motion Control Association (MCA). RIA, AIA, and MCA combined represent some 650 automation manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, research groups and consulting firms from throughout the world that drive automation forward. For information on RIA, visit Robotics Online at www.robotics.org. For information on AIA, visit Vision Online at www.visiononline.org. For information on MCA, visit Motion Control Online atwww.motioncontrolonline.org.

Read the press release on Robotics Online here.


Women a Growing Demographic in Manufacturing

September 10, 2012

Despite great advances made in the workplace for equal pay and equal opportunities despite gender, there are still places where breaking into the boys’ club can be difficult. You don’t typically find women on the factory floor — but perhaps that’s about to change. CNN recently published an article about how developing automation technology and the growing manufacturing education system combine to make a career in manufacturing more accessible to women.

Manufacturing: Not just a man’s job
By Parija Kavilanz

Tom and Diana Peters — the husband-wife team that runs Symbol Job Training — are on a mission of their own. They want to enroll more women students in their school.

“The stereotype is that factory jobs require a lot of heavy lifting,” said Diana. “It’s the complete opposite. So much of manufacturing today is high-tech and computerized. Women can do these jobs and be very successful.”

The Peters’ trade school was formerly a family-run tool-and-die shop before Diana, a company executive, bought it and transformed it into a manufacturing trade school in 2005.

“We saw the need to establish a vocational school because of a skilled labor shortage in the area,” she said.

Enrollment at Symbol, which specializes in teaching computer-aided machining, known as CNC, has since quadrupled to 140 students a year. The school recently moved to a larger facility.

Symbol currently has about a dozen female students, a level that Tom calls a “spike” from years past when the school had none.

Read the full article at CNNmoney. What sort of challenges have you seen for women in manufacturing and automation? How have you seen them being addressed?


How Robots Create Jobs

April 9, 2012

by Adil Shafi , President, ADVENOVATION, Inc.

Originally posted 04/04/2012 on Robotics Online.

No army can stop an idea whose time has come ~ Victor Hugo

In 2011, the International Federation of Robotics commissioned a report on how robots create jobs. http://www.ifr.org/robots-create-jobs/. The findings report that, “One million industrial robots currently in operation have been directly responsible for the creation of close to three million jobs… A growth in robot use over the next five years will result in the creation of one million high quality jobs around the world.”

Further, the market research firm Metra Martech wrote, “In world terms three to five million jobs would not exist if automation and robotics had not been developed to enable cost effective production of millions of electronic products from Phones to PlayStations.” The report actually covers several markets in the automotive, electronics, food and beverage, plastics, chemicals and pharmaceutical industries and focuses on countries like Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea and USA. The complete report is available at http://www.ifr.org/uploads/media/Metra_Martech_Study_on_robots_02.pdf.

It is sometimes said in the media that robots take jobs away. Actually the opposite is true. The companies that hire and thrive and have cars in their parking lots are the ones that have embraced automation and used robots to create financial efficiencies and created jobs. This fact has been marginalized in the past by such opinion makers as organized labor and “headline seeking” media. Fortunately, after the recent recession, both are now realizing that this myth is busted and are routinely embracing the long term benefits of robots.

So, how do robots create jobs? Before we review the math and dynamics of robot jobs, let’s look at a similar perception problem that occurred one hundred years ago.

A One Hundred Year Old Example and Similar Lessons

How Robots Create JobsConsider the horse driven cart business before the advent of cars (or the “iron horse” as a car was often called). In those days there were many jobs that revolved around horses: their breeding, feeding, grooming and related peripherals: saddles, stirrups, stables, etc. When the “iron horse” came about, these jobs were threatened. Inevitably those linked to the horse related professions resisted the advent of cars and cried foul about the ethics, morality or appropriateness of an iron horse in society. But, as Victor Hugo said, “no army can stop an idea whose time has come”.

People saw the benefits of cars: the comfort of the ride, the range of travel and the speed. The benefits over horses were irrefutable. It was not obvious at first but cars needed roads and that need created jobs. The manufacture of cars created jobs. And no one epitomized the benefits of mass manufacturing to create jobs and enhance the betterment of the masses than Henry Ford.

How Robots Create Jobs It is true that there was a disruption to the status quo and a transition; some of which was planned by people and some of which was not. But cars were here to stay and they have revolutionized jobs, society and our standards and ways of living for the past one hundred years.

In a similar way, robots or “iron workers” have created a similar dynamic in recent decades. It is true that many “manual hands work” related jobs were threatened by the efficiencies of robots. Robots have irrefutable benefits like How Robots Create Jobstheir incessant efficiency, consistency, and relentless work ethic. Once again, “no army can stop an idea whose time has come”.

The manufacture of robots has created jobs. And a transition is underway, whether people or businesses have planned for it or not. Those that have not planned for it have been negatively affected by the high cost of labor and thereby loss of business competitiveness. Those that have planned for the transition have benefited and prospered from the transition.

As Charles Darwin noted, it is not the strongest or the largest of the species (companies in this case) that have survived the best; many hitherto large and powerful companies have filed for bankruptcy protection, but instead the ones most receptive and adaptive to change that have benefited the most. This need to adapt or change quickly via information or a “digital nervous system” was underscored by Bill Gates in his book “Business at the Speed of Thought”.

The Job Cost Numbers

How Robots Create JobsLet’s look at the financial math behind the manual worker and the iron worker (industrial robot). In countries of high cost labor e.g., the United States of America, Western Europe and Japan, the hourly cost of manual labor can be about $20 per hour; it is higher in Europe but the example holds.

In BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries of low cost labor, the hourly cost of manual labor can be as low as $1 per hour. This “financial advantage” has driven many companies to move manufacturing to countries of low cost labor. It requires significant financial strength and infrastructure and commitment to do so.

Such transitions require significant spans of time zones, language barriers, cultural adjustments, shipping and receiving logistics, customs, insurance, quality management, business monitoring and cash flow adjustments. For example a product made with $1 per hour labor requires training, shipping of materials, quality management, communication from halfway around the world, etc. and then when the product is ready, it may have to be paid FOB at the port of shipping in the Pacific Rim, ocean insurance and freight, customs clearance in Los Angeles, a delay to process the product, and then the expenditure of expensive fuel and gas to transport the product to its final point of distribution and sale.

All this magnifies that $1 per hour labor cost to as much as $10 per hour and calculators to estimate these “stack up of costs” are available on the internet e.g., at www.saveyourfactory.com. Jobs created in this manner are completely transitioned from countries of high cost labor to countries of low cost labor.

How Robots Create Jobs

Now enter robots, machine vision and automation. This too requires an investment like the overseas low cost labor option. The first one or two years require a ROI or Return in Investment period during which the cost of robots, machine vision and automation are recouped against the savings achieved from manual labor. But from then on, the cost of manufacture per hour is lower than the cost of producing in countries of low cost labor!!! This fact has not been well known in the past and it is the key to how robots create jobs and save businesses in countries of high cost labor.

Like the investment in the iron horse, the investment in the iron worker makes businesses stronger and allows them to compete against any other company and against any labor cost model in the world. Moreover, there are additional human quality of life benefits.

Companies that embrace this change and adapt to it end up seeing that their businesses can thrive in regions of high cost labor. They can preserve their local communities, pay taxes, preserve schools, churches, support businesses and family relationships without job disruptions, family disruptions or relocation. And after the Great Recession, this dynamic is enabling a host of manufacturing companies to regain their strength and to forge ahead with new competitiveness, a new relevance and a renewed strength. Even the BRIC countries are embracing robots for reasons of benefit that transcend low cost labor.

A Transition, a Plan, a Journey

How Robots Create Jobs This model of automation and renewed strength requires a proactive adaptation to change. A 100 employee company that has worked manually for 30 years will find itself with a need to transition, a need to plan and a need to journey to a better prosperity.

Inevitably, some manual work will transition to robots. Inevitably, the manual workers will require retraining and a new job focus in the same company.

There are many government programs available to provide the necessary training and to provide the necessary financing to accomplish the transition plan. This results in a corporate benefit as well as an employee benefit. It requires a commitment to learn these dynamics and opportunities and then to make a plan to forge ahead. Many companies that do so find themselves stronger against global competition and find that they can pay their former manual workers more money per hour in their newly invigorated newly automated and highly competitive company.

Industrial Robots After The Recession

The proof is in the market reports. All indications are that after the Great Recession, robot, machine vision and automation sales are growing at a pace far faster and higher than the pace of general economic recovery. Robot sales have set records in the last two years and the change has been embraced in droves.

The resistance to deploy robots is hardly seen any more amongst unions and even the media is touting the benefits of robots now; most notably in a recent Forbes magazine article entitled “Buy a Robot and Save America”. This article was based on a presentation made by Ron Potter, presently Director of Robotics Technology at Factory Automation Systems in Atlanta Georgia entitled, “The Business Case for Robots: How the US Can Compete and Win in Global Manufacturing”. Potter has been involved with robotics innovation for more than 40 years and is a 1995 winner of the highest award in industrial robotics, the Joseph F. Engelberger Award.

How Robots Create JobsDifferent Kinds of Labor Unions

It is also true that after the Great Recession, labor unions have adapted and formed new “win win” models for the future. The labor wage structures tend to be more tiered now based on ability and experience and thus more biased towards meritocracy. The deals between car companies and unions are more mutualistic as evidenced in successful unions in post Second World War Japan (read David Halberstam’s “The Reckoning”) or the days of J Paul Getty as described in his famous book “How to be Rich.

Industrial Robot Job Growth

So now, much like the manufacture of the iron horse (cars), the manufacture of the iron worker (robots) is accelerating.

Major robot companies and their suppliers are reporting corporate expansions and job creation. The demand for skilled robot technicians, engineers and related jobs has skyrocketed and our educational institutions are investing heavily in robot programs. The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) is consistently reporting growth in membership, member revenue, member jobs and related prosperity.

This is a much welcome trend for those who have journeyed in the last two decades through skepticism and even more importantly the maturing of technology and reduction of automation pricing to unleash the forces of mass adoption. It is refreshing to see the economic benefits after the recession. It is even more refreshing to see that fears of the success of robot and vision projects have diminished and that there is renewed confidence in the success of these projects in End User communities, in automation communities and in component supplier communities.

Moreover, the RIA has announced and implemented industry measures to provide objective certification to help raise the level of competency of member companies through the recent RIA Certified Robot Integrator Program and the AIA Certified Vision Professional (CVP) Program.

The Pervasive Physical Relevance of Service Robots
How Robots Create Jobs
As if growth in the industrial robot job market is not enough good news, another phenomenon in job growth is unfolding before our eyes. The service robot has arrived and it is offering all kinds of benefit to humans outside factories just like the industrial robot has provided benefit inside factories. Jobs in the fields of service robotics are rapidly being created by small startups, large companies, government agencies and many universities and their commercialization arms.

The International Federation of Robotics projects that 85% of all robots will be service robots by 2018; a mere six years away. Once again, like iron horses in the past, and iron workers in the present, we should pay heed to the future and take lesson from Hugo’s saying: “No army can prevent an idea whose time has come”.

Service robots promise to do for the physical benefit of humans what computers have done for the mental benefit of humans. Computers have not taken over our brains, but they have vastly improved our ability to tap into information and to access it as needed in seconds. In a similar way, service robots are paving the way to physical benefits at home, on the road and at work in profound and pervasive ways.

Service robots are creating new solutions of convenience and efficiency and physical strength, and entirely new types of jobs in the air, on land, on water and under water. There are dozens of new markets, job fields and areas of activity in the field of service robots. They were explained in an RIA featured article in 2011 entitled: Service Robots and their Rapid Rise in Multiple Markets.

Where to Start with Robotics

If you are a student and wish to embark on a career in robotics, the Lego and FIRST robot competitions offer an excellent way to begin. You may focus on the mechanical, electrical, software, interface or application areas of robotics; or any combination thereof. Many universities and technical colleges are starting or growing their existing programs in robotics which are theoretical as well as practical and that emphasize hands on learning and team work.
How Robots Create Jobs
In January 2012, RIA launched the new RhoBotaPhi blog site to help students, faculty and job seekers plan for career opportunities in robotics. The site is designed to assist students and educators connect with companies in the robotics industry. Extensive resources that every robotics student will need are made available. For more information, visit the RhoBotaPhi website at: www.rhobotaphi.com.

If you are an industry professional, you may wish to learn from free webinars that the RIA offers via its Market Trends Webinar Series. If you are an industrial worker and wish to learn how to implement robotics in your company, visit the following association websites: RIA’s Robotics Online, AIA’s Vision Online and MCA’s Motion Control Online.

National Robotics Week
How Robots Create Jobs
April 7 – 15 marks the celebration of National Robotics Week; the RIA will be hosting two free webinars: Career Opportunities in Robotics (4/10/12) and Fundamentals of Robotics: Factory Solutions (4/12/12). Registration is required.

Contribution Acknowledgements

Contact Information

Adil Shafi is President of ADVENOVATION, Inc., specializing in software solutions and innovation in the field of Vision Guided Robotics (contact adil@advenovation.com or visit www.advenovation.com).

Read the original posting here.


Jobs and Robots – Free RIA Webinars during National Robotics Week

March 30, 2012

National Robotics Week

Jobs and robotics are webinar topics addressed by Robotic Industries Association during National Robotics Week, April 7-15, 2012. Career Opportunities in Robotics is on April 10 and Fundamentals of Robotics is April 12 – both are free and start at Noon Eastern Daylight Savings Time. Registration details can be found at www.robotics.org/NationalRoboticsWeek.

Webinar panelists are RIA members with practical experience in the robotics industry. Speakers for the careers webinar are Diane Haig from Applied Manufacturing Technologies, Roberta Zald from IPR Robotics and Jim Devaprasad from Lake Superior State University. Adil Shafi, President of Advenovation, is the presenter for robotics fundamentals.

“National Robotics Week began in 2010 and is a great example of the renewed focus on manufacturing in North America,” said Jeff Burnstein, President, Robotic Industries Association. “RIA members are looking for qualified workers so this is a great opportunity to hear about the exciting and fulfilling work in robotics and advanced manufacturing.”

Findings from a 2011 report on how robots create jobs indicate, “One million industrial robots currently in operation have been directly responsible for the creation of close to three million jobs… A growth in robot use over the next five years will result in the creation of one million high quality jobs around the world.” (Source: International Federation of Robotics.

Career Opportunities in RoboticsCareer Opportunities in Robotics (April 10) is a one-hour webinar that examines career options in cutting-edge applications in industry and beyond. Engineers, faculty and others interested in engineering career development will discover exciting robotic opportunities in education and research, industry, simulation and emerging applications presented during this webinar.

Fundamentals of Industrial Robotics: Factory SolutionsFundamentals of Robotics – Factory Solutions (April 12) is an hour-long webinar that explains different kinds of robots, their design and component makeup, basic safety considerations and integration methodologies.

Attendees are invited to join the webinars online during National Robotics Week. The Great Plains Robotics Alliance along with the Wichita Area Technical College has incorporated the Fundamentals of Robotics webinar into an event they are hosting at their facility (National Center for Aviation Training) and will show the webinar live in their presentation auditorium.

About Robotic Industries Association

Founded in 1974, RIA’s member organizations include leading robot manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, community colleges & universities, research groups, and consulting firms. RIA is best-known for developing the ANSI/RIA National Robot Safety Standard, collecting quarterly statistics on the North American robotics market, sponsoring the biennial Automate show and conference, hosting the annual Robotics Industry Forum, and producing Robotics Online, the world’s leading resource for robotics information.

RIA is part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), formerly known as the Automation Technologies Council. Other associations under the A3 umbrella are AIA, an association for vision & imaging companies, and the Motion Control Association (MCA).

For more information on RIA, visit Robotics Online or contact RIA Headquarters at 734/994-6088.

About National Robotics Week

National Robotics Week recognizes robotics technology as a pillar of 21st century American innovation, highlights its growing importance in a wide variety of application areas, and emphasizes its ability to inspire technology education. Robotics is positioned to fuel a broad array of next-generation products and applications in fields as diverse as manufacturing, health-care, national defense and security, agriculture and transportation. At the same time, robotics is proving to be uniquely adept at enabling students of all ages to learn important science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts and at inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. During National Robotics Week, a week-long series of events and activities is aimed at increasing public awareness of the growing importance of “robo-technology” and the tremendous social and cultural impact that it will have on the future of the United States.

National Robotics Week is a product of a 2009 effort by leading universities and companies to create a “national road-map” for robotics technology, which was initially unveiled at a May 2009 briefing by academic and industry leaders to the Congressional Caucus on Robotics. On March 9, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed resolution H.Res. 1055, officially designating the second full week in April as National Robotics Week. This resolution was submitted by U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-14), co-chair of the Caucus, and other members.

Initiated in 2010, the inaugural National Robotics Week included 50 affiliated events around the country. National Robotics Week 2011 built on that success to include more than 100 events in 22 states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. We expect National Robotics Week 2012 to be even bigger with even more events.

Read the original press release on Robotics Online.

“Help Wanted – Must be Robot Friendly”

March 16, 2012
Robotics is a growing industry. It starts up companies, expands business, and creates jobs. However, the robotics business is facing a challenge that all developing industries face — a lack of a skilled workforce.
Need for robotic skills outpacing work force

“Robot suppliers and integrators told us they were running full-out to meet customer demand and one of the limiting factors was a shortage of qualified application engineers and other technical people needed to develop and integrate new applications,” said RIA President Jeff Burnstein.

During January, recruiters posted more than 2,100 online job ads for robotics skills, an increase of 44 percent compared to January 2011 and more than double the volume of online job ads in January 2010, according to Wanted Analytics, a recruiting data firm.

The majority of job listings were for engineering and technology positions, but there also is growing demand for systems integration, operations and maintenance workers.

The advanced manufacturing industry is having trouble finding college graduates with even basic robotics skills, said Raul Ordonez, a University of Dayton associate professor and director of the school’s Motoman Robotics Laboratory.

“The students who have these skills would be highly sought after,” he said.

If you are looking to take advantage of the success of the robotics industry, there are many ways to become educated and develop your skill set, from full college programs in engineer to shorter certificate programs in robotics. Check out the Webinars & Education section of Robotics Online — we have a webinar about career opportunities in robotics coming up on April 10, as well as many other webinars archived for immediate viewing. We’re proud of RIA members Yaskawa Motoman Robotics and SAS Automation that have taken responsibility in the future of their industry.

To read the full article, head over to the Dayton Daily News.