Adidas is employing robots to make shoes

Posted: 2:37 PM, May 25, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-25 15:37:44-04

Come the end of 2016, the new Adidas shoes on your feet may have been made by a robot. 

Late last year, the sportswear giant announced it was testing a  new manufacturing process in Germany  that involved the use of "intelligent robotic technology" instead of people. 

Clearly, the pilot program went well, because Adidas will  start large-scale production  in Germany after it finishes building its production plant and even plans to open a second Speedfactory facility in the U.S. next year. 

Adidas currently manufactures around 300 million shoes a year, the majority of which are produced by hand in Asia,  according to NBC

Company management says the goal of these new Speedfactory facilities isn't to replace workers, but instead to get products out to stores faster. 

Adidas' senior director of corporate communications  told Fortune : "The current model in our industry is very much based on us sourcing products from countries where our consumers are typically not based. By the time the consumer gets the products, the actual order placed by the retail partner was many months ago." 

The move could help Adidas reach its goal of a  15-percent increase  in net income each year until 2020. 

Adidas, which has partnered with several big names like Kanye West and Stella McCartney, also plans to  open 3,000 new stores  in China over the next four years and sign  endorsement deals  with as many as 500 professional athletes. 

But Adidas  may soon have competition  when it comes to its robot assembly line — Nike is reportedly looking at creating a similar production process. 

This video includes clips from  Adidas  and  Nike  and images from Getty Images and  Adidas

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