Jim Ostroff over at The Kiplinger Letter recently opined that robots are moving past automotive assembly lines and are entering other industries at a breakneck pace. He notes that “The robot count in the U.S. should double to about 350,000 within 10 years.” Ostroff says that, aside from saving on labor costs, robots are becoming so sophisticated that they can manufacture products that are nearly defect-free, “all but obviating the need for costly product recalls.”
In theory, that makes sense. After all, robots can be programmed to perform tasks with, well, robot-like precision. On the other hand, there are still more than enough vehicle recalls to go around. Whether the merry-go-round of auto recalls are the fault of robots or human workers, we can’t say. But it seems like a leap to assume that robots can ensure defect-free products.