UK Public welcome the role of robots

With robots playing an increasingly pivotal role across the world in tackling the COVID19 pandemic, a survey of UK public opinion released this week sees a key role for the use of robotics in tackling this and future health scares.

The poll, undertaken as part of the fifth annual UK Robotics Week, running until Sunday 28th June, was commissioned by the UK-RAS Network.  Key findings regarding the current pandemic include:

  • 36% think robotics could help ramp up the manufacture of Personal Protective Equipment
  • 33% think deliveries by robots and drones could aid social distancing
  • 28% think robots could play a vital role in cleaning and disinfecting public places

Another aspect of the poll looked at which industry sectors the public feel that robotics are most useful in at present.  The top 3 are:

  • Manufacturing (42%)
  • Logistics (30%)
  • Military and defence (20%)

17% of those polled felt that robotics should be most useful in the medical sector, but this is the field where most people – 38% – predict the most substantive improvements over the next year.  Other areas where advancement and innovation are anticipated were:

  • 3D printing (34%)
  • Logistics (30%)
  • Household (29%)

Professor Robert Richardson, Chair of the UK-RAS Network, said “These findings from our latest survey into attitudes towards robotics show that the public is taking a real interest in how robotics technology is developing, and the benefits of using robots across a gamut of sectors.”

Liz Reid, MD of RNR Robot Solutions, commented: “Robotics is such a fast moving field, we’re seeing ground-breaking developments announced pretty much weekly across many industry sectors, such as agriculture, construction, and environmental protection.  The whole COVID19 experience has shown just how central automation is becoming to our everyday lives, with examples across the globe as to how robots are helping tackle the pandemic.  It’s very rewarding to see the UK public acknowledging these developments, and welcoming the positive aspects of automation into our lives”.