Presents the findings of a longitudinal study of robot usage in Australia. The first stage was completed in 1990 and the second in 1993. In 1990, 74 companies were requested to give an interview, of which 32 agreed. The response rate was therefore 43 per cent. Of the 112 companies surveyed in 1993, 58 responded, giving a 52 per cent response rate. These companies had employee numbers ranging from ten through to 10,000 and included the general manufacturing, automotive, plastics moulding and electronics industries. Most of the findings were in favour of the adoption of industrial robots for Australian industry as it contributed to manufacturing competence. Some shortcomings in robot technology which were identified included; the capital outlay required, programming difficulties, availability of service and the current capacity of robot vision systems. The benefits of robots identified included productivity, flexibility, safety and quality increases.
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