As the latest statistics from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) revealed, it’s clear that the UK is losing the race to automate.

The recently published IFR report, Robot Race: The World’s Top 10 automated countries, showed that the UK is not only losing the race, but is barely taking part.

The report named the top automated countries and showed that in 2019 the average robot density in the manufacturing industry hit a new global record of 113 units per 10,000 employees. By regions, Western Europe (225 units) and the Nordic European countries (204 units) have the most automated production, followed by North America (153 units) and SouthEast Asia (119 units).

As far as individual countries are concerned, the UK is so far behind, that it didn’t make the top ten, nor even the wider list which included another 11 countries.

Many of its European neighbours fared better. Germany came fourth in the top ten, followed by Sweden (5), Denmark (6) and Belgium/Luxemburg (10), and then Italy (11), Netherlands (12), Spain (13), Austria (14), France (16), Slovakia (17), Switzerland (19), Slovenia (20) and Finland (21). 

The top three were Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

Jacques Bonfrer, CEO of Bot-Hive, a platform that helps companies automate, said: “The situation, as revealed in the latest IFR report, is lamentable. When is the UK going to wake up to the fact that its productivity will not improve until it automates? For once such a powerful industrial nation, we are slipping behind so badly that it is going to take a concerted effort from business, the robotics and financing industries, and most particularly the Government, to put things right.

“And what the awful pandemic we are now suffering has shown, is that robots can take up the slack. People are now more accepting of what robots can achieve and how they can help us through difficult times. Robots are there to relieve us of the dull, repetitive and dangerous jobs. And the rest of the industrial world is embracing them. The UK simply cannot afford to slip even further behind. We must take action now.”


[Image: Possessed Photography for Unsplash]