Beyond R2-D2 and Rosey: 17 Interesting Facts about Robots and the American Workforce

Robots have come a long way since they were just TV and movie characters in imagined futuristic worlds like The Jetsons or Star Wars.

Rosey from the Jetsons (XB-500 Model)
R2-D2 from Star Wars
C-3PO from Star Wars

While we haven’t (yet) invented feisty robot maid/housekeepers, chirpy astromech droids, or haughty protocol droids with British accents, robots are definitely here to stay and are transforming industries and job functions like healthcare, material handling, and manufacturing.

But even though robots are now a reality, various myths and falsehoods about robots still exist. Some say robots are taking away American jobs and making some jobs completely obsolete. (Others say robots will take over the world, but that’s a story for another day.)

Robots are here to stay, though, and can work more in our favor than you might expect. So, we say it’s high time to separate the facts from the fiction about robots.

Let’s dive in! Here are 17 surprising facts about robots and the American workforce.

Fact 1: Robots are replacing certain manual (and often dangerous) tasks, but they can never possess the complex, customizable, and emotionally intelligent skillsets that humans do. (Source)

Fact 2: Robots help free up employees’ time from more mundane tasks and transform, not replace, our jobs through a process called “workforce augmentation.” (Source)

Fact 3: Robots can’t replicate human reasoning. They can mimic our behavior, but they can’t reason as we do. (Source)

Fact 4: Robots can help workers become more productive – sometimes by as much as 35% per year. (Source)

Fact 5: Using robots actually helps create jobs. For instance, between 2010 and 2016, 136,748 robots were shipped to the U.S., and 894,000 new manufacturing jobs were created. (Source)

Fact 6: New jobs are being created where humans tell robots what to do. These robots are known as “cobots” or “collaborative robots.” With cobots, humans will operate the robots and have them complete tasks like medical operations. (Source)

Fact 7: Companies mainly choose to use robots because of safety reasons. Cobots can perform the more risky or hazardous tasks that humans once had to, while humans operate the robots and avoid these hazards. (Source)

Fact 8: Many major manufacturers like GE, General Motors, and Whirlpool Corporation are using cobots in their facilities.  (Source)

Fact 9: The robot industry is booming. In Q1 of 2018, for instance, a record number of robots (10,730 robots – a total of $507 million) were shipped to North America. (Source)

Fact 10: Because we’re using more robots, robotics engineer positions (which include job titles like automation engineer, robotics systems engineer, and autonomous vehicle design engineer) are growing between 5%-9% per year in the U.S. By 2026, there are anticipated to be 9,500 job openings for robotics engineer positions. (Source)

Fact 11: Robots are currently being used in many different applications including agriculture, construction, customer service, defense, demolition, industrial cleaning, inspection, logistics, manufacturing, and healthcare. (Source)

Fact 12: In the agriculture industry, robots help with spraying for weed control, automated crop harvesting, and pruning and thinning. (Source)

Fact 13: The construction industry uses climbing robots when working on tall-structure projects and dual-arm robotic equipment for natural disasters, among other applications. (Source)

Fact 14: Defense robot applications include carrying heavy equipment and rescuing wounded soldiers from combat zones. (Source)

Fact 15: Robots are great for inspection applications. They’re currently being used to inspect pipes, tanks, vessels, large plates, onshore oil and gas levels, sewers, and wind turbine rotor blades – applications that can be dangerous for humans. (Source)

Fact 16: When it comes to industrial cleaning, robots are being used to clean anything from the glass on large buildings to boiler walls and the hulls of large ships. (Source)

Fact 17: Another industry buzzword surrounding the topic of robots is artificial intelligence, or AI. While AI has entered the scene, it’s not as developed as you might think and is more in its infancy stages than anything else. (Source)


As robots continue to get more incorporated into different industries and both create and augment jobs, AMJ Staffing is here to help companies find qualified robotics candidates and to help qualified candidates find the right job with the right employer.

  • Employers: Are you looking for a highly-skilled robotics or factory automation employee who is the right fit your organization, both culturally and technically? Check out what a partnership with AMJ looks like or contact us!
  • Candidates: Are you looking for the right job at a company whose culture matches yours? As a niche-focused firm, we offer robotics, factory automation, and other career opportunities for qualified candidates.