2011 was a phenomenal, historic year for the robotics industry—robot sales hit about 160,000 units, translating to $8.5 billion in sales. This was by far the highest level recorded for any single year, and it was a 38 percent increase from 2010. Believe it or not, there are currently 1.1 million working robots in the world. Many of these robots sort through construction waste for reusable materials.

Get introduced to “Baxter” and “Hoya Robot,” two highly sophisticated robotic systems already executing vital tasks. Baxter is a humanoid robot that is designed to work safely alongside people on factory production lines. It can be trained in less than 30 minutes by applying common sense and by adapting to the environment. South Korea’s Hoya Robot functions as a real hero—it can remarkably enter burning buildings, withstanding temperatures of up to 320 F. It can transmit image, sound, temperature, smoke, and gas data to firefighters up to 54 yards away.

Hopefully, robots like Baxter can help bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. 300,000 people are estimated to already be employed in industrial robotics, with 45,000 jobs expected to be added by 2018. To learn more about the incredible advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics, take a look at the infographic below by ClickSoftware.

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