Industrial robots are on the verge of revolutionizing manufacturing. As they become smarter, faster and cheaper, they're being called upon to do more - well beyond traditional repetitive, onerous or even dangerous tasks such as welding and materials handling. They're taking on more "human" capabilities and traits such as sensing, dexterity, memory, trainability, and objective recognition. As a result, they're taking on more jobs - such as picking and packaging, testing or inspecting products, or assembling minute electronics.
In addition, a new generation of "collaborative" robots ushers in an era shepherding robots out of their cages and literally hand-in-hand with human workers who train them through physical demonstration.