Connecting the Bots

Original article courtesy of WRAL Documentaries.

See ISE lecturer Jason Low, alumnus Rishikant Mishra, and grad students Rahul Gadre, Dhawal Dedhiya, and Li Li demonstrate how NC State’s Industrial and Systems Engineering Department is training students to be prepared for the changing world of manufacturing.


Can a robot replace you at work? A study from NC State’s Institute for Emerging Issues says there are about 40 professions that are vulnerable. Some counties could see job losses of 40-percent over the next couple of decades due to automation. But automation is creating jobs too for people who design, build and program robots to do certain tasks.

The new WRAL Documentary Connecting the Bots examines how automation is changing the workplace. It goes inside a textile mill near Hickory where robots sew socks that are manufactured without ever being touched by a human hand. It tours a giant greenhouse where automated systems include robots that space plants as they grow. It visits a company in Sanford that makes robots that make other products and a company in Matthews that automates woodworking assembly lines eliminating the need for human labor.

Connecting the Bots also looks at the merging of skills taught at community college machine shops and university robotics labs to create automated manufacturing systems. It examines where our educational system may be lacking in preparing students for the jobs of the future. It takes a closer look at predictions of job elimination and job creation that automation is bringing
to the workplace.

WRAL News anchor Brad Johansen hosts Connecting the Bots.

WRAL Production Team
Web Editor: Natalie Matthews
Reporter: Brad Johansen
Producer: Clay Johnson
Photographer: Jay Jennings