The next time you order a book online, it may be packed by a team of robots as well as people. No longer just the stuff of science fiction, robots today are ubiquitous in manufacturing plants and warehouses, where they provide numerous advantages over humans. Their makers are becoming attractive acquisition targets from buyers all over the globe.

Along with accelerating production systems and improving accuracy, robots can be programmed to work in multiple places on the assembly line. Robots can also take on tasks that are too dangerous for workers and they can operate for long periods without becoming tired or racking up overtime wages, allowing owners to cut labor costs.

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