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April 14, 2010

Automation Census - How Many Robots, Vending Machines, Self Service Kiosks, ATMs


There were 8.6 million robots at the end of 2008. There are probably about 11 million robots now (start of Q2 2010). Automation goes beyond robots and below I discuss vending machines, self service kiosks, ATMS and more.

The total worldwide stock of operational industrial robots at the end of 2008 was in the range of 1,036,000 and 1,300,000 units. The minimum figure above is based, as was discussed in chapter I, on the assumption that the average length of service life is 12 years. A UNECE/IFR pilot study has indicated that the average service life might in fact be as long as 15 years, which would then result in a worldwide stock of 1,300,000 units.
Projections for the period 2009-2012: about 11.6 million units of service robots for personal use to be sold

Self Service Kiosks and self Checkout Kiosks are vending machines with a Graphical user interface.
It is estimated that self-service kiosk transactions will be worth more than $775 billion this year, and is expected to hit $1.3 trillion in 2013. The number of self-service kiosks in the United States and Canada is 1.2 million, according to research by Rockville, MD-based Summit Research Associates.

There is a potential of eight million vending machines in the US and a world market of thirty million vending machines.

Self Service devices are growing at 15% per year.
Retail Banking Research estimated the number of self-checkout machines in the U.S. will grow to nearly 192,000 in 2011, more than tripling the 59,000 that were in use in 2007, when the recession started.
Financial Kiosks and ATMs
Financial kiosks and ATMs are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 9 percent to include more than 186,000 financial kiosks and more than 2.4 million ATMs by 2013, according to a report by NextGen Research. Next-generation ATMs capable of accepting envelope-free cash and check deposits will drive the market for the next five years and beyond.

Process changes and other Job Impacts
There is concern that robots and automation displace human jobs
Better and more robots and artificial intelligence are not the only ways for humans to lose jobs

Going down the list of jobs and looking at how many people have different jobs which are the jobs that are safe from displacement ? Even if a class of jobs is not completely eliminated could demand be severely reduced ?

23.3 million jobs in the USA for office administration and support. (New business systems that require fewer people. Web 2.0 companies only need a handful of people or one person to do what took hundreds only a few years ago).
14.3 million jobs in the USA for sales and related work. (Automation and new sales processes)
11.3 million jobs in food preparation and serving. (Improved frozen meals, more elaborate food vending machines)
10.1 million jobs in production. (Automation and process re-engineering, shifts of jobs to other places - jobs still done by people but they are other people, better additive manufacturing and printable electronics and components)
9.6 million jobs in transportation and material moving. (more local production : high rise farming, rapid prototyping and manufacturing systems)
8.3 million jobs in education, training and library. (online learning, MIT recordings of the best professors.)
6.9 million healthcare practitioners and technical. (Biomarker tracking with cheap devices to catch and treat diseases early or in the developing stages. Keep people healthier and avoiding the need for more costly and people intensive intervention).
6.7 million jobs in construction and extraction (pre-fab buildings and panels).
6.0 million Management. Re-engineering to flatten organizations and take out layers of management. Web 2.0'ing a business. Reinvent it where a lot fewer people are needed.
5.4 million Installation, Maintenance, and Repair. Redesign things where the quality is better and it does not break or does not need service or is simple to install.

FURTHER READING
Robot population stats from 2007

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