Machines, after all, can perform many manufacturing tasks more efficiently, effectively and consistently than humans, leading to increased output, better quality and less waste.

SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Of the more than 229,000 industrial robots sold in 2014 the most recent statistics available , more than 57,000 were sold to Chinese manufacturers, 29,300 to Japanese companies, 26,200 to companies in the U.S., 24,700 to South Koreans and more than 20,000 to German companies.

The basic economic trade-off between the cost of labor and the cost of automation is the primary consideration.

AP Photo/Kin Cheung

Other countries that have been rapidly integrating robotics into manufacturing, but not quite as quickly, are Canada, China, Japan, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. China is an interesting case because it s automating rapidly despite the fact that Chinese wages are still comparatively low.

Countries moving more slowly in the adoption of industrial robotics include Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico and Poland.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel shakes hands with a robot at an industrial fair in 2006 alongside Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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