ANN ARBOR, MICH. -- A total of 22,598 robots valued at $1.48 billion were sold to companies in North America in 2012, beating the previous record of 19,337 robots sold in 2011, according to the Robotic Industries Association.
Compared to 2011, North American orders were up 17 percent in units and 27 percent in dollars.
"The automotive industry has continued to be the strongest driver of the North American robotics market," said Alex Shikany, director of market analysis, in a news release. "Robots sold to automotive OEMs in North America jumped 47 percent over a then record-setting 2011, while robots sold to automotive component suppliers increased 21 percent," he noted.
Ann Arbor-based RIA estimates that some 225,000 robots are now at use in United States factories, placing the United States second only to Japan in robot use. RIA tracks robot sales and usage in all industries, not just plastics.