Inside the headquarters of Clearpath Robotics, a robot revolution is underway.
Where a receptionist would have once welcomed your arrival, there’s now a little robot named “Glados” hanging from the ceiling above a vacant table. It scans the waiting room to detect movement and offer its greeting.
On a shelf amongst an assortment of engineering awards, sits “How to Survive a Robot Uprising,” a tongue-in-cheek survival guide for newcomers.
It’s a glimpse of how co-founder and chief executive Matt Rendall envisions the future, as robots change the way people live and work.
“Before the home, our vision is a robot in every company and every job site,” he said. “There are still so many jobs that humans are not well suited to do.”
A recent study from the Boston Consulting Group shows that investment in industrial robots will grow 10 per cent per year in the world’s 25-biggest export nations through 2025 — overshadowing the current growth of two to three per cent.
Companies will be motivated by how cost-effective and efficient robots are compared to the human workforce, the study said. It’s estimated that labour expenses can be reduced by 24 per cent in Canada, and cut even further in regions like South Korea and Japan.
Rendall believes that’s where Clearpath comes in, as the Kitchener, Ont.-based company rolls out a fleet of robots to automate what it calls the “dullest, dirtiest and deadliest” jobs in the world, spanning industries like manufacturing, agriculture and the military.
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