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Mercedes-Benz gives its robots a rest, and brings back the humans


A revolution is happening at the Sindelfingen, the largest factory of Mercedes-Benz in Germany. The luxury carmaker has decided to extend vacation time to its robots while it brings back the humans to handle, most especially, customization: carbon-fiber trim, heated and cooled cup-holders and four types of caps for the tire valves, and a plethora of other options that the machines cannot keep with. “Robots can’t deal with the degree of individualization and the many variants that we have today,” said Markus Schaefer, the German automaker’s head of production. The unquantifiable little thing that sets men and robots apart is what we call “conscience.” It does not mean it may not happen at some point. But in the meantime, humans can still carry on with what they do best: making things or creating, which is the same.


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