22 Nov 2023
by Nicholas Zylberglajt

The road to the autonomous everything

A guest insight published in advance of our Future Visions: Autonomous Robots webinar on 11th December.


Interested in the future of autonomous robots?

Click here to join techUK's Future Visions webinar, on 11 December, to learn about:

  • the latest autonomous robot technologies
  • areas for further Government support, and
  • opportunities for UK industry to develop or adopt the tech

By Nicholas Zylberglajt, Co-Founder and CEO of Unmanned Life

A serial entrepreneur, Nicholas boasts a remarkable track record of fostering partnerships and driving business growth. With over 14 years of experience in business, policy, and regulatory domains within prominent corporations, he has spearheaded multi-stakeholder negotiations and forged strategic partnerships at an international scale. His expertise spans engagements with various Telecom companies, governments on a global scale, and more.


In today's rapidly evolving tech sphere, the fusion of robotics and drones is revolutionising corporate frameworks. Unmanned Life pioneers a software platform seamlessly integrating these autonomous entities, paving the way for coordinated robotic efforts that transcend hardware and software differences.

'Autonomous things' has emerged as a term denoting technological advancements introducing computers as self-governing entities; encompassing robotics, vehicles, drones, smart home devices and technologies designed for autonomous operations. Propelled by AI algorithms, these entities navigate and interact independently with humans and objects free from direct human control.

Acknowledged as a pivotal force steering the future, 'Autonomous Things' leads Gartner’s lineup of strategic technology trends, renowned for their disruptive potential and anticipated widespread acceptance. Their crucial role in industry transformation lies in their capability to revolutionise numerous sectors.

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Autonomous technology empowers devices with diverse functions across security, transportation, and emergency responses, enabling task automation independently or in synchronised robotics groups, known as swarms. This versatility showcases their transformative power in addressing multifaceted challenges across industries.

While the domain of autonomous devices is extensive, specific trends within autonomous things have garnered significant corporate interest:


Autonomous Vehicles: Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) aim to cut road accidents by 15% by 2030, targeting human-error-related incidents. By 2035, the mass use of autonomous driving could generate £400 billion in revenue, promising a significant shift in transportation safety.


Autonomous Robotics: In manufacturing, healthcare, and logistics, robots mitigate risks in hazardous tasks like warehouse inspections. Predictions by Gartner suggest that by 2026, over 90% of enterprise robots will possess advanced autonomous capabilities, a massive leap from the current 5%.


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Autonomous Drones: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) excel with limitless flight capabilities, exploring inaccessible areas. They act as mobile sensors in the Internet of Things (IoT), gathering data and employing AI algorithms for intelligent decision-making without human intervention, revolutionising various industries.


The concept of autonomous everything - known as the Internet of Autonomous Everything (IoAT) - has the transformative abilities to redefine the way organisations and various sectors operate. To comprehensively grasp the advantages of this technology, we need to examine its impact on three key areas: Environmental, Social, and Economic.


Environmental impact of the autonomous everything 

An immediate impact will be a reduction in carbon footprint. With levels of CO2 in the atmosphere having increased by 50% in 2020, the United Nations suggests that greenhouse gas concentrations are rising too rapidly to keep global warming below the targeted 1.5 degrees Celsius, threatening both environmental and human health.

Data suggests that AI-enabled autonomous technologies can expedite the transition to a low-carbon society; as these technologies carry potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 0.9 to 2.4 gigatons of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e) by 2030.

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Social impact of the autonomous everything 

With positive impacts on citizens, businesses, and governments, autonomous everything reduces healthcare costs, lowers carbon footprints, enhances access to education in underserved communities, and can bolster transportation safety.

Successful use-cases, such as Unmanned Life's drone-based emergency search and rescue or drone-based medical delivery, have demonstrated the substantial benefits autonomous things bring to society. The facilitation of human-robot collaboration will ensure simple and efficient operations, allowing robots to handle mundane and risky tasks on behalf of humans.

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Economic impact of the autonomous everything 

According to the World Economic Forum and Cann (2022), autonomous technologies are expected to increase net employment to 58 million by 2030. Research suggests that an increase in automation could double operating margins and the enterprise value (EV) of equity markets by 2025. This indicates an improvement in margins by lowering costs and increasing revenues for enterprises across industries.

The adoption of these technologies is anticipated to boost productivity, profitability, and sales. The concept of Autonomous Everything will simplify and create new asset utilisation models and processes, making operations efficient and cost-effective.

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Navigating the challenges of autonomous technologies

Autonomous technologies are reshaping industries, boosting efficiency, safety, and sustainability across manufacturing, automotive, logistics, mining, and utilities. Drones play critical roles in defense, offering cost-effective solutions and risk mitigation where manned systems fall short.

Despite its early stage, the AI Robots Market is projected to surge by 80.5% by 2026.

However, challenges loom. Social acceptance, regulatory restrictions on flight permits, and cybersecurity concerns pose significant hurdles. The fragmentation of robotics, with varied systems and languages, creates inefficiencies.

Unmanned Life offers a solution: a centralised platform to deploy, orchestrate, and manage robotics, addressing the challenge of fragmentation. These challenges, we believe, drive innovation and growth.


Unmanned Life's solution

The concept of autonomous everything is not merely an ideal but a reality that is reshaping businesses with efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions. Unmanned Life is paving the way for this future; empowering robots to see, think, and act through our diverse and distinctive software platform. This is made possible by Unmanned Life's centralised platform, supported by corresponding algorithms inculpating deep learning and AI, facilitating swarms of heterogenous robots to work and communicate collaboratively.

Unmanned Life’s one of a kind technology allows large organisations to seamlessly integrate and orchestrate different intelligent robots with their systems, irrespective of the vendor. Through strong partnerships with leading telecom operators, the company addresses a broad spectrum of enterprise customers seeking such solutions from their telecom partners. This positioning has established Unmanned Life as a robust brand in the emerging 5G, Robotics, and Autonomy technology scene.


Now is the time for companies to assess their supply chain for autonomous technology. Implementing autonomous robots, from robotic process automation to AI-enabled vehicles, can significantly boost productivity and efficiency. This £32 trillion industry is increasingly embracing autonomous tech, projected to become a £10 trillion opportunity by mid-century. As these technologies continuously improve and cut costs, their impact on businesses is undeniable. The crucial questions now are where and when to implement them. 


techUK – Supercharging UK Tech and Innovation

The opportunities of innovation are endless. Automation, IoT, AI, Edge, Quantum, Drones and High Performance Computing all have the power to transform the UK. techUK members lead the development of these technologies. Together we are working with Government and other stakeholders to address tech innovation priorities and build an innovation ecosystem that will benefit people, society, economy and the planet - and supercharge the UK as a global leader in tech and innovation.

For more information, or to get in touch, please visit our Innovation Hub and click ‘contact us’. 

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Authors

Nicholas Zylberglajt

Nicholas Zylberglajt

Co-Founder and CEO, Unmanned Life