The Rust Belt or the Robot Belt?

While some worry about robots snatching away their jobs, the robotics industry is celebrating growth in the U.S.

So where are the robot makers? At least half are in the Midwest, where the Steel Belt became the Rust Belt.

Top robot cities

Detroit is the leader in robot-related industry, with 66 companies employing 3,012 human workers. On the other hand, the Detroit metro and surroundings is also the largest employment hub for industrial robots. Nearly half of the 233,000+ industrial robots in America work in Michigan’s automotive industry.

The Chicago metro has 42 robotics companies employing 2,367 workers.

Boston, Los Angeles, and New York City show up next on the list, but then we’re back to the Midwest. San Fransisco is also fairly high on the list, but that’s it for the coasts.

Cincinnati is home to 21 robotics companies employing 1,391 people. Fanuc may be the best known of these Ohio companies.

Minneapolis has 20 such companies with 2,265 employees. The Twin Cities host the annual Robotics Alley conference, too.

Pittsburgh has 19 companies with 715 workers. There may be fewer human workers there, but Pittsburgh is home to the RoboPGH, the Pittsburgh Robotics Networks, with a lot of innovative members that didn’t make the Citylab list.

Outside the Robot Belt

While there is definitely a cluster of big robotics cities in the old Rust Belt, the U.S. is definitely growing in the field, across the nation. Of the world’s 50 largest robotics companies, 32 are headquartered in the United States.

Producers are one thing, but use of robots is also growing in the U.S. Shipments of robots to the U.S. in the first quarter of 2018 were record-breaking. Integrators of robots into overall manufacturing systems are another important group in the United States, with more industries outside of automobile makers adding automation this year. Food and consumer goods continues to be a strong industry, along with agriculture, health care, and metals.

No matter how innovative, no matter how they grow, robots always need motion control. As specialists in Rexroth electric industrial motion control systems, we’re here to support you whenever you need help with your Rexroth servos, drives, controls, and power supply modules. Call (479) 422-0390 for immediate assistance.


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