For a long time there basically has been two sides to robotics. The robotics that happens in research and there’s robotics that happens in a factory. In the past it’s taken a really long time for research technology to be viable in a production setting, however the opportunity and interest for using AI and robotics is massive. That momentum is putting those two worlds on a collision course.
This isn’t to say that this collision isn’t already happening, there are already robotic systems right now being used in a production setting that are powered by some type of AI algorithm. However it’s not as remotely widespread as say AI used for image search or speech recognition or even self-driving cars.
Robots are needed more than ever in manufacturing and it really comes down to the demand being placed on factories today and the fact that we can’t find enough skilled people to do all of that work. We can solve this with robots but an industrial robot by itself isn’t very flexible and that makes automation a challenge because the robot can’t deal with the variability of a factory in the same way a person can.