Robot orders by companies surge as labor shortages linger

Orders in North America for robots are reaching record numbers as the U.S. economy continues to slog through a labor shortage fueled by the pandemic. According to data from the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) – a trade group representing organizations involved in robotics, AI and other tech – the total number or orders this year reached nearly 29,000, with a value of $1.48 billion.

The orders are up 37% from a year ago, says the trade group. “With labor shortages throughout manufacturing, logistics and virtually every industry, companies of all sizes are increasingly turning to robotics and automation to stay productive and competitive,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of A3, in a statement.

Rows of robotic arms moving boxes around on conveyor belts.

During the third quarter, North American companies order 9,928 robots valued at $513 million, the third highest quarter ever in orders and fifth highest ever for value, said A3. The surge in robotics orders comes amid The Great Resignation, with a record number of Americans quitting their jobs this year for incenti…