In a promotional video for a new workplace robot, a woman sits on one side of a table while her robot assistant—two high-tech, mechanical arms attached to a cylindrical torso—waits on the table’s other side.

Next, the worker and robot, within arm’s reach of each other, assemble an electronics component, each adding pieces.

In another video showing the capabilities of a different robot, the mechanical worker uses its two arms to pick up metal gears and place them on a conveyer belt, while a human worker places more gears within the robot’s reach.

However, there aren’t barriers around the robots...