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The latest trends in robotics and automation

Michael Snow

Commercialised robotics began with robotic arms on the factory floor over a decade ago. So where are we now when it comes to robotics? According to RNA Automation, “From 2018 to 2020, global industrial robot sales are estimated to increase by at least 15% on average per year.” With almost 1 million robots in use worldwide and this set to grow, we ask what’s currently trending in the field. And, more importantly, are we all out of a job yet?


We’ve all experienced Chatbots, whether it’s answering a query to do with shipping a product or assisting with booking a holiday. The reality is, they are harder to train than to build. This is great news for the IT industry as it opens up more job roles in the advancement of this type of automation.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) Technology

According to Forbes, the IIOT has the “potential to reduce [business] costs” and will “enable new business models needs to start with a platform perspective that includes app development and integration”. With 46% of global economy benefiting from the Industrial Internet, it’s no wonder it’s on our radar.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Integration

We have seen businesses use AI technology on a customer facing level but now, financial organisations are using AI to handle Big Data. Over the last three years, $6 billion has been pumped into over one thousand AI start-ups, which suggests the vast growth. As with most new technology, once the production price comes down we predict we’ll see huge spike in usage and new start-ups.

Collaborative robots (co-bots) will grow rapidly

The fear that robots are going to take over the world and leave us out of work is a mere myth. The truth is that once they are incorporated into the workplace, new and exciting opportunities will be created. Yes, robots may replace some laborious positions but this means that there will be an increase in the demand of people needed to monitor, train and improve them. Do you see yourself as a “bot trainer” in the future?

There will still be work

There are lots of exciting things to come in the world of robotics and automation. Perhaps the most exciting is the inevitable workplace restructure. Fear not! Robots won’t be taking over any time soon. In fact, there will be an increase in the demand for human skills, such as complex problem-solving, cognitive abilities, social skills and process skills. Phew! 

Read our related blog: The impact of AI and machine learning in 2018

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