Robots Replacing Workers in Chinese Factories

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Will robots eventually replace humans in the workplace? While that seems laughable now, in a few parts of the world it is already happening. As technology advances and younger generations get lazier more employers are finding that robots are a more efficient option than their human competition for performing monotonous tasks.

Appliance making giant Midea is on the vanguard of China’s full throttle charge into robot powered factory automation. Over the last 5 years Chinese companies have been using robots to help combat rising worker shortages in factories. Last year was a landmark year as China’s demand for robots surpassed Japan. This booming demand for more robots is elevating Chinese robot manufacturers up to a whole new level. With the recent explosion of funds dedicated to this new niche some Chinese companies have even proven to be more powerful than their international rivals. So far the switch to robotic workers has been wildly successful, cutting production costs & increasing productivity.

China’s keen interest in robotic technology was sparked by the shifting ideals among the new generation of workers. Traditionally young adults have been the back bone of China’s factory workforce. But growing options and changing views have led the younger generation to ditch manufacturing jobs for more exciting work options. China’s rising minimum wage has also played a big part in companies switching to a robotic workforce.

Right now at the Midea Group Factory in China, two human supervisors are in charge of managing 4 robots. These humans are set to be replaced later this year with a more advanced robot supervisor. This showcases the rapid rate at which this trend is growing. With the demand for more advanced robots, we are seeing a rapid evolution of new robot’s capabilities. We need to remember that over just a period of decades a computer went from something that took up an entire room to a smartphone that fits in your pocket. If we already have robots replacing minimum wage factory workers, what will robots be capable of in 20 years? It’s an interesting thought, but don’t quit your day job just yet.