Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) are testing drones for inventorying warehouses, curbside pickup and home delivery, and waiting for U.S. regulators to weigh in on commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems.

In the meantime, grounded robots are becoming increasingly ubiquitous in warehouses and factories, where they provide several advantages over human laborers. For instance, robots are able to take on tasks that are too dangerous for humans. Robots can also operate for extended periods of time without getting tired, freeing owners of the need to provide breaks, overtime and raises.

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