International commerce could well be dictated by robots, starting early this month, says a report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the International Federation of Robotics. The production of robots is likely to go up from last year's 610,000 to more than 830,000 by 1997 end, with annual sales estimated to rise from about 54,000 units in 1993 to more than 103,000 units in 1997. At over half the world's stock, Japan has the world's largest robot population, and Britain and France are planning to use more "machine-men" in their factories.
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