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Demographic change can be seen from the number of robots in use in industry. This connection has been established by the Flexibility@Work 2019 study published by the personnel service provider Randstad. It applies, the authors say, to Germany in particular: hardly any other country has seen such a steep rise in the use of robots since the early 1990s as we have here. The reasons lie in the fact that industry requires not only experience and technical expertise, but also power and precision, which is why more and more cobots are supporting the ageing workforce. For every 10,000 employees in the manufacturing industry in Germany, the study reveals, there are now 322 robots.

Cobots, i.e. robots that can work directly with human beings without any particular safety precautions, have increased in importance. Not only do they relieve the burden on their human colleagues in connection with physically strenuous and monotonous activities, but they are also regarded as a way of offsetting the shortage of skilled employees . At the same time, of course, there are fears that cobots could provide competition for jobs.