Automated manufacturing technology is becoming affordable for smaller companies. What does that mean for jobs?
A “collaborative” robot, like this one made by Rethink Robotics, saved one company 2,400 human hours previously needed to pack a single part.

DONALD TRUMP rode a wave of anger and frustration among blue-collar workers, who had watched 8 million manufacturing jobs vanish over 30 years, to the presidency. He promises to restore them by slashing taxes, reducing regulations, and redrafting or killing trade agreements. But even if those strategies revive U.S. factories, a threat looms that has nothing to do with China or Mexico: Robots are likely to claim many roles long performed by flesh-and-blood workers.

Robots are on the rise—and the greatest growth may be about to come. Some 34,600 manufacturing robots shipped in North America last year, nearly double the 18,200 that were sold

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