German forklift maker Kion Group AG agreed to buy robot maker Dematic for about $2.1 billion to expand in the U.S. and tap demand from Amazon.com Inc. and other online retailers as they look to automate warehouses.

Buyers are drawn to makers of robots, which are being used in a range of industries to increase the efficiency of manufacturing. Arlington Capital Partners purchased the defense and security business of iRobot Corp. (Nasdaq: IRBT); Auris Surgical Robotics Inc. will acquire Hansen Medical Inc. (Nasdaq: HNSN); and Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LECO) acquired Vizient Manufacturing Solution.

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