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Watch Out, the Robot Shipbuilders Are Coming

  • Hyundai Heavy tests powerful robot that can curve steel plates
  • Machines seen as crucial as industry emerges from deep slump
Operations at the Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Shipyard
Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
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A robot invasion is underway in one of the last labor-intensive industries -- shipbuilding.

In search of lower costs and speedier construction times, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. are embracing automation to build critical sections of their giant container ships, some of which extend 400 meters (430 yards) in length.