Third of Brits open to trialling the use of robots

2 min read

A new poll has taken a look at the UK public’s understanding of – and attitude towards –robotics technology.

Commissioned ahead of the UK Festival of Robotics 2022, running from the 18-24th June, it found that a third of people in the UK are open to trialling the use of robots. A full 30% of UK adult respondents said that they would be open to trialling the use of robots, if the technology fulfilled its potential to make day-to-day life easier.

The national poll, commissioned by the EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (UK-RAS) Network, revealed a number of fascinating findings about the UK public’s current understanding of – and attitude towards – robotics technology and its future role in our lives.

The research also uncovered that people in the UK are still unsure as to what exactly is meant by the term ‘robot’, and also about the potential ways in which robots could aid everyday lives.

When asked which household products could potentially be labelled as a robot, 41% correctly listed an automatic hoover, with 40% identifying a drone. Smart TVs (named by 20% of respondents) and smart speakers (39%) were all tech that people falsely believed to be robotic.

The definition of a robot is a type of automated machine that can execute specific tasks with little or no human intervention, with both speed and precision.

When it comes to embracing the benefits of robots, over a quarter (28%) of people believe that robots are already an occasional part of their everyday lives, with one-in-ten (13%) going even further, suggesting that robots are fully integrated across all parts of their lives.

Partnered with the practical benefits, 17% of those polled believe that the use of robots could help to cut down on energy use, while 14% consider that the integration of robots will be a positive move for the environment.

Commenting, EPSRC UK-RAS Network Chair Professor Robert Richardson said, “This year’s survey has uncovered some quite surprising responses about what people consider to be robots and robotic technology and raises some really interesting questions about our relationship to this technology as it develops.”

The UK Festival of Robotics is a national showcase of the very best of UK innovation in robotics, automation and intelligent systems, aimed at engaging, inspiring and informing people of all ages across the UK.

Now in its seventh successive year, this 7-day celebration includes a free-to-attend programme of online and in-person events, spanning robot lab livestreams, careers discussions, and exclusive public open days. Topics will range from self-driving cars and driverless trains to space robots, smart drones, robotics for extreme environments and much more.

For more information about the UK Festival of Robotics 2022, and to explore upcoming events, follow the link below.