All over the world, ageing populations and changing attitudes are making it harder to hold on to workers, believes Dr Rodney Brooks. Brent Balinski spoke to Brooks, founder of Rethink Robotics, about some demographic and technology shifts to watch out for and why it’s best to be realistic.
In the markets where Rethink sells its collaborative robots, ageing workforces and a shortage of younger workers available to replace retirees are a combination troubling manufacturers, according to founder, chairman and CTO, Dr Rodney Brooks.
It’s a problem that’s been brewing for many years, and an issue in China which he picked up on early in the millennium as co-founder of iRobot (which still produces its Roombas there, at a rate of around two million annually). The same goes for Adelaide-born Brooks’s adopted home of the US, he said. Ditto for Europe.