WAAY 31 learned more about the robot that stole the show at the $1.6 billion Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A plant's groundbreaking ceremony on Friday.
Officials said robots like this one are something we will see a lot of inside the plant. The president and CEO of the company that makes the robots, Mike Cicco, made the trip from Michigan for the groundbreaking to show his support and his company's plans to move to the Tennessee Valley.
"The robot you see here, which helped us break ground, is an important part of manufacturing automobiles," Mike Cicco with Fanuc America Corporation said. "This wonderful state of Alabama is on our list with the tremendous growth to be the next location of Fanuc."
Cicco said that location would most likely be somewhere local, which would help get technicians on the ground. He said the company is already looking in the area and would hope to have their space set up before the plant opens in 2021.
Governor Kay Ivey said Fanuc's interest in the area is something we will start seeing more of.
"Suppliers and other related fields will come, and they will want to do business here too, just like the robot folks. So, it's a great door opener for the business in Alabama. We say welcome. We are ready for new business to come and thrive," Ivey said.
Cicco said although the robot just shoveled dirt Friday, they can be made to hold a lot more weight.
"We even make robots that are big enough that they can handle the full car once it's completed and move it through the plant for the different manufacturing processes," Cicco said.