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Robot sales are surging in North America, with automotive and other companies snapping them up at a record pace for a second straight year. According to industry figures, robotics companies made $516 million in sales in the first quarter, up by about 28% over the same period in 2016.

Between the lines: The report follows a record 2016 for robotics sales, and consensus forecasts of continued double-digit revenue increases for the industry for the next five years. This gives a hard foundation to projections of a vast robotization of industry and job categories over the coming years, with the potential for a massive impact on employment.

Industry growth appears to be accelerating. Robotics companies racked up a record of $1.9 billion in sales last year, which was 10% higher than the previous year, according to the Robotics Industries Association, which tracks private and publicly traded companies. With the record sales of 9,773 robots in the first quarter of the year, North American companies now have about 250,000 robots at work, the group said.

Frank Tobe, who edits The Robot Report, a trade publication, said the consensus forecast is for most segments of the robotics industry to grow at double digits for at least the next five years.

Go deeper

America's child care sticker shock

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Parents looking to return to the job market may find child care options have gotten pricier — and that's if they can enroll their kids at all.

Why it matters: The fate of the recovery partially relies on the return of parents who left the workforce to care for their children.

Biden's major border shake-up

A migrant family waits to be taken to a Border Patrol processing facility after crossing the Rio Grande River. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris' trip to the border on Friday will play out amid the Biden administration widening shake-up of U.S. border policy and leadership.

Driving the news: Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.) tells Axios that he's been advised by a border official that as soon as mid-July the Biden administration will end all use of Title 42, a Trump-era policy citing coronavirus as rationale to block migrants at the border.

DeSantis signs law requiring college faculty, students to take surveys on beliefs

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed legislation requiring state colleges and universities to annually survey their students, faculty and staff about their beliefs to ensure "viewpoint diversity and intellectual freedom."

Why it matters: The legislation doesn't specify for what the survey results will be used, but at a press conference on Tuesday DeSantis said that schools found to be "indoctrinating" students aren't "worth tax dollars" and are "not something we’re going to be supporting going forward."