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The New Norm: Collaborative Robots
Close to gone are the days of huge, fixed robots operating behind cages in sprawling factories. A new breed of more compact, flexible and easy-to-program robots has made inroads fulfilling tasks in small to medium-size businesses around the world. These "collaborative robots" can not only be programmed quickly to perform different tasks and move or be moved around the facility, they are safe to work shoulder-to-shoulder with humans. Now they are joining the assembly lines at factories powered by Foxconn, Teradyne, BMW and more. Analysts and insiders predict that this fast-rising sector of collaborative robotics will attract more competitors and be the key to enabling true "lights out" manufacturing, which requires virtually no human intervention.