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Robots could restore “Made in Germany” label to adidas shoes

German cobbler Adi Dassler revolutionised running when he started hammering spikes into track shoes almost a century ago. Today most of the 258 million pairs of shoes produced each year by his firm Adidas are made in low-cost Asia.

That could soon change as cheaper, faster and more flexible robots mean manufacturing – including producing fiddly footwear – could be brought closer to consumers in high-wage countries like Germany, speeding up delivery and slashing freight costs in what some call a fourth industrial revolution.

adidas is working with the German government, academics and robotics firms on new technologies it hopes will trigger a significant a shift in the footwear industry as the move led by its arch rival Nike to produce in Asia decades ago.

(Source: CNBC)