The usual narrative in the last few years is that robots relentlessly displace humans in today's highly mechanized workplaces (like factories and mines), but sometimes robots' speed and dexterity can't overcome their basic problem -- namely, they're robots. Reader jones_supa writes with this story from The Guardian about why robots aren't always the right tool, excerpting: Bucking modern manufacturing trends, carmaker Mercedes-Benz has been forced to trade in some of its assembly line robots for more flexible humans. The robots cannot handle the pace of change and the complexity of the key customization options available for the company's S-Class saloon at the 101-year-old Sindelfingen plant, which produces 400,000 vehicles a year from 1,500 tons of steel a day. The dizzying number of options for the cars – from heated or cooled cup holders, various wheels, carbon-fibre trims and decals, and even four types of caps for tire valves – demand adaptability, a quality that is still more easily fulfilled by humans than robots.
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