Robot makers are reducing their reliance on automotive companies, but it's not happening quickly.
Outdoor temperatures are declining, but robotic sales figures released in November are as sluggish as the proverbial dogs on a hot summer day. Shipments to the automotive industry dropped by about half compared to 2005, driving overall sales down by more than a third, according to the Robotic Industries Association.
The bright spot is that sales outside the auto industry are pretty flat, declining only three per cent. The robotics industry has been moving ever so slowly to reduce its reliance on automotive, and this is evidence that the effort is paying off.
Every time there's a slump in automotive, robot makers tout their efforts to expand into electronics and other fields. Here's hoping that their diversification can give them some protection from the automotive downturns that seem to recur as regularly as the change of seasons.