Automated sewing and other machine innovations could enable a resurgence of the textile industry in the southern U.S.
A new Chinese-owned factory in Arkansas will deploy 24 "Sewbots" that each can produce a new shirt in about 30 seconds, and many of the factory's employees will be technicians with coding and electromechanical skills.
Said Palaniswamy Rajan, CEO of SoftWear Automation, which designed the Sewbots, "We want people who can work with robots. That is where the new economy comes in."
The Sewbots' creation stemmed from federally funded research into automated military uniform fabrication at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Rajan hopes that within five years, Sewbots will be producing 25% of the 4 billion T-shirts sold annually in the country, as well as machine-made jeans and dress shirts.
He also expects a robot-driven garment industry to add 50,000 to 100,000 U.S. jobs in the next 10 years.
From Associated Press
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