The use of robots in US manufacturing has more than tripled over the two decades, and has doubled in the rest of the world, replacing certain categories of worker, according to a report published Monday.

As of 2017, automation in the United States had risen to 1.8 robots for every 1,000 workers from just 0.5 recorded 22 years earlier, according to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis.

The report found the highest prevalence of robots in the auto sector, with France in the lead, followed by the United States and Germany.

Automation has eroded the number of intermediate "middle-skill" occupations, while the share of high-skill and low-skill positions has grown, it said.

France leads the way in employing robots to build cars auto, using 148 robots for every 1,000 workers, compared to 136 in the United States, while Italy and Germany each use about 120, the study found.

In all manufacturing industries, the study found Germany and Italy are ahead of the United States in adopting the use of robot technology.

"France, and the average of the countries Spain, the UK and Sweden were ahead of the US in the late 1990s and early 2000s but in the last decade it seems the US has overtaken these countries," the report found.

In India, Companies are expected to use automation in the workplace to increase from the current 14% to 27% in three years, higher than the global and APAC average, says a a survey by Willis Towers Watson. However, a previous report in 2017 by industry analyst firm HFS had revealed that artificial intelligence and automation could cost a whopping 7,50,000 jobs in the next 5 years, in India.

In November, Panasonic announced that the it is looking to launch two of its latest assisted robotic products in India by this year. This includes a robot that can carry luggage and the other one is assisted-walking robot which the company wants to launch in hospitals before selling to the consumer market. For its robotics products, Panasonic will initially target hospitals in India and then eventually take these for B2C (business to consumer) market sales in the country.

It may also be recalled that in last October technology firm ABB had announced that its is investing US$150 million n Shanghai, China for building the world’s most advanced, automated and flexible robotics factory - a cutting-edge center where robots make robots. The new Kangqiao manufacturing center, near ABB’s expansive China robotics campus, will combine the company’s connected digital technologies, including ABB Ability™ solutions, state-of-the-art collaborative robotics and innovative artificial intelligence research to create the most sophisticated and environmentally sustainable “factory of the future.” It is expected to begin operating by the end of 2020.

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