Smarter, Smaller, Safer Robots
A new generation of adaptive robots are creating new efficiencies for manufacturers and changing how companies build things, including factory floors themselves. And the robots are far more collaborative than their predecessors, enhancing engagement and job satisfaction among their human colleagues. New research headed by MIT's Julie Shah highlights the advantages of the new robots, showing that they have made manufacturing automation a less extreme commitment than it once was and offering a glimpse into the gains that will come when the new machines are paired with high performers. This reprint contains three additional Idea Watch articles. "Exploiting the 'Mobile Internet Gap'" is a visual representation of the rapid growth of digital private equity investment in countries where lots of people have cell phones but few of those phones have internet access--yet. "Do Regulators Go Easier on Socially Responsible Firms?" describes research showing that investing in CSR may be rewarded with leniency by regulators in the event of bribery violations. "'Inoculate' Buyers Against Disappointment" examines research demonstrating that instilling positive feelings about a company and then mildly challenging those feelings can shore up customer satisfaction if service breakdowns occur.