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Panel debate: The robots are coming, slowly but surely

The British mystery of missing productivity! At What's New in Electronics Live 2019 E&T's editor Dickon Ross chaired a debate with expert speakers from The Manufacturing Technology Centre, ABB Robotics, igus, and Hitex - filmed for you.

Following E&T's interview with BARA chair Mike Wilson we took to one of 2019's shows to discuss - with a panel of industry experts from a research centre, a robot manufacturer, and two suppliers - why according to Mike, the UK is behind robotics and automation productivity when compared with our European partners.

To also set the scene for this debate, during September The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee produced a report which said the UK is lagging behind its G7 counterparts in “leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. It urges the government to come forward with a UK Robot and AI Strategy by the end of 2020 with measures designed to help businesses adopt greater automation.

We asked our panel why is the UK behind European competitors & partners? Reasons discussed include British culture & socio-economics, hype vs realities, the emotive challenge of replacing people’s jobs with robots, and what each panelist thinks the UK national government could do to increase robotics uptake.

Filmed at the What's New in Electronics Live show 19th September 2019, at the National Agricultural & Exhibition Centre, Warwickshire.

Our panel:

  • Dickon Ross – editor in chief – E&T magazine (chair)
  • Jeremy Hadall – chief engineer, intelligent automation – The Manufacturing Technology Centre
  • Julian Ware – UK & Ireland sales manager – ABB Robotics
  • Dave Tomlin – automation specialist – Hitex
  • Adam Sanjurgo – low cost automation product manager - igus

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