As more and more UK companies look to automation to future-proof their business, it’s time to dispel the myths about robotics replacing employees. It’s time we learn to automate our future.

Eating carrots helps you see in the dark, chomping on crusts makes your hair curl and robots are replacing humans. Not everything you read is true.

Regarding the latter, whilst robotics are being adopted across several UK industries, there are still limitations to what they can and can’t do. Harmony is being created between employees and shiny new tech, not dissonance.

The move to robotics is inevitable. Wherever you look, machines are becoming increasingly commonplace and it’s a trend that won’t be bucked.  If you were to step out of a time machine into 2022 from as recent as 20 years ago, you’d be perplexed trying to buy your weekly shop, especially if there was an unexpected item in the bagging area. Now, however, it’s rare for even small supermarkets not to have self-service checkouts. Times change.

They weren’t perfect to start with. In 2015 Tesco had to change the voice of its checkouts after its original one was deemed ‘irritating’ and ‘shouty’. Yet they were still seen as a positive step forward, even if there would be a few bumps in the road. That is the mentality we must move forwards with, embracing new technologies and supporting companies making that inevitable transition.

Learning from Europe’s trendsetters

Germany is currently Europe’s biggest advocate of robotics. Ranking fourth worldwide with 371 units, the country accounted for 33% of European robot sales. Looking into their relationship with automation, a report by the Information Service Group believes that the “reason to implement intelligent automation extends beyond reducing headcount. The goal is shifting from cost savings to improved productivity and customer experiences.

“Companies are encouraging employees to embrace automation, and foster a culture of collaboration amid a growing appreciation that technology doesn’t replace jobs.”

When calculators were invented, they didn’t spell the end of mathematicians. When electricity lit up our homes, lantern makers adapted. There was harmony to be found, and here, there’s a harmony to be struck too; as new ways of working are created, so too are new roles.

Logistics, the UK’s leading sector

The UK currently ranks 22nd in robotics usage worldwide, but the logistics industry leads the way for its adoption of and admiration for what automation can bring.  Britain’s fulfilment centres are the world’s most robotised.

Throughout warehouses nationwide, machines assist their human co-workers, not usurp them. Automated mobile robotics (AMR) is of particular value. They can do the ‘dirty work,’ taking tedious tasks from manual workforces, allowing them to handle more focussed challenges where brainpower and logic outsmart algorithms and grinding gears.

Amazon, which adopted automation as early as 2012, states “over the years, some of our best ideas have come from associates, and we believe this will continue to be the trend.”

As automation is adopted at a growing rate, the topic of conversation shouldn’t be around what robotics take from us, but what they give us. There is a need for companies to better communicate their use of robotics to dispel the myths of negativity surrounding them. These successes and innovations should be shouted about, not tucked out of public view.