The Future Visions series explores the next-generation technologies at the cutting edge of research and development that are set to disrupt industries, challenge incumbents, and act as a catalyst for growth. Attendees have the opportunity to learn about the latest advances in technology from those at the heart of its development, equipping them and their business to take action and realise the potential of future technologies.

Previous topics have included AI and semiconductors, neuromorphic computing, and photonics.

Across the globe, autonomous robots, which use sensors and decision-making structures to operate independently of human operators, are transforming and disrupting numerous industries, including retail, construction and manufacturing.

In 2005, 90% of all robots could be found assembling cars in automotive factories. Over the decades since, the applications of autonomous robots have exploded, creating new opportunities for companies looking to embrace automation, boost productivity, and stay at the forefront of innovation.

According to The Data City, the number of robotics companies in the UK has increased by 85.3% over the past decade, rising from 519 in 2013 to 962 in 2023. These companies have grown by an average of 8.1% per year since 2000.

However, on most other metrics, the UK still lags far behind countries such as Japan and South Korea in the development and adoption of these technologies.

This is desptite initiatives such as UKRI's 'robotics for a safer world' challenge, which ran from 2017 to 2021 awarding £112 million to over 200 organisations, and Jacobs UK's Centre for Robotic Autonomy in Demanding and Long-lasting Environments (CRADLE), announced earlier this year.

This session will convene world-leading engineers, technologists and companies across the field of autonomous robotics to discuss the latest technological advancements, areas for Government support and opportunities for UK industry.

By the end, attendees will understand:

  1. What autonomous robots are and will be capable of
  2. How Government can best support UK industry to lead on the development of autonomous robots
  3. How UK industry can identify whether they should adopt autonomous robot technologies
  4. Which stakeholders will play a vital role in making this happen

Only by bridging the divide between technologists and industry can the UK look to scale up the development and adoption of autonomous robots and begin to address its pervasive Productivity Puzzle.

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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’.