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The robotics revolution is rapidly accelerating, as fast-paced technological advances in automation, engineering, energy storage, artificial intelligence and machine learning converge. The far-reaching results will transform the capabilities of robots and their ability to take over tasks once carried out by humans.

Already, the number of robots in use worldwide multiplied three-fold over the past two decades, to 2.25 million. Trends suggest the global stock of robots will multiply even faster in the next 20 years, reaching as many as 20 million by 2030, with 14 million in China alone. The implications are immense, and the emerging challenges for policy-makers are equally daunting in scale.

call out robotsThe rise of the robots will boost productivity and economic growth. And it will lead to the creation of new jobs in yet-to-exist industries. But existing business models in many sectors will be seriously disrupted and millions of existing jobs will be lost. We estimate up to 20 million manufacturing jobs are set to be lost to robots by 2030.

 

New industrial robot installations (thousands)

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Since 2010, the global stock of robots in industry has more than doubled: as many robots were installed in the past four years as over the eight previous. Approximately every third robot worldwide is now installed in China, which accounts for around one-fifth of the world’s total stock of robots. Download the report to learn more.

Forecast of cumulative job losses

The robot vulnerability index

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Our Robot Vulnerability Index highlights specific regions that are at highest risk of labour disruption—but also reveals some common patterns across regions. This index help identify which regions within our chosen economies (the US, Germany, UK, France, Japan, South Korea and Australia) will be hardest hit by the ongoing automation of the manufacturing sector. Download the report to learn more.

Download the How robots change the world report now to learn about:

The trends driving the rise of robots

The impact of automation on the workforce

The implication of robotization for regions with a high risk of labour disruption