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The trend toward robots and computers taking jobs people have held is getting a big push from COVID-19.

A human face behind the counter is traditionally a welcome sight, but now people are warier of close contact with strangers. That opens the door to robots taking orders, flipping burgers, even delivering room service meals.

“This was an issue for germaphobes, and now everybody is going to be a germaphobe. The future started in March,” said Johannes Moenius, a University of Redlands business professor.

Adding some robots can help factories keep up production when they must limit the number of human workers for safety’s sake. Robots can even do now-dangerous hospital jobs such as cleaning rooms

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