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Four signs your industry could benefit from VR robotics

It has become increasingly common to read stories about AI in mainstream publications. Part of this is understandable; openly available tools like ChatGPT have captured the imagination and attention of millions as a glimpse into the future.

Yet there’s another, parallel revolution going on, too. Powered by increasing levels of adoption of AR/VR robotics, manufacturing is on the cusp of a transformational era. And like all good solutions, what works for one industry often has comparable benefits for others.

Which begs the question: How do you know if your industry could benefit from these game-changing technological solutions? The answer might be simpler than you thought.

Here are four tell-tale signs your line of work stands to gain from the latest developments in VR robotics.

  • Working in hazardous environments

There are thousands of people working in hazardous environments worldwide, all of whom risk their health and safety from extreme temperatures, poor air quality, falling objects, or dangerous substances.

Robust health & safety rules help mitigate some of these risks, but safety costs money. More importantly, the human cost of workplace accidents is almost impossible to quantify. Despite stringent laws and guidelines, the UK still saw 135 work-related deaths (a 10% increase from the previous year).

While it’s impossible to guarantee the total safety of any employee, introducing VR robotics – which can even operate in the inhospitable conditions of space – would vastly reduce the risk for your workforce. Staff can operate from anywhere suitable, in total comfort and safety, leaving the hazardous and otherwise life-threatening work to the robotic technology.

lettuce farming robots

  • Reliance on seasonal workers

As anyone in the food and farming sector will know, the seasonal working landscape has changed dramatically over the past five years. A combination of low wages, poor job security and legislation like Britain’s exit from the EU has resulted in widespread labour shortages. The knock-on effect is devastating losses for producers, with up to £60 million worth of crops left to rot in 2022 alone due to a lack of workers.

Agriculture isn’t alone in their struggles. There are currently more than 130,000 vacancies in the hospitality industry, with retail and construction also struggling to retain the workforce numbers necessary to reach optimal operating levels.

But how can VR robotics make a difference? As a recent DEFRA-funded test case has shown, introducing VR robotics solutions can drive efficiencies that lead to better crop quality and higher yields – while removing the dependence on what has become an increasingly unreliable workforce solution.

  • Process repetition

Whether it’s in warehouses or on production lines in car manufacturing (until recently the biggest industry for robotics), for years we’ve already seen how industrial robotics can improve productivity and efficiency.

The very same principles that have enabled this extensive adoption of robotics in the automotive industry the same that make others just as suitable for a VR robotics overhaul. Put simply, if your business involves repetitive processes, it’s likely viable for robotic process automation (RPA).

Compared to traditional process automation, the use of a VR robotics solution has distinct benefits. First, thanks to an intuitive interface, there’s no need for an engineer or developer to configure. Even with tasks that have a high level of variability, the accessible interface enables rapid automation of processes that would historically have taken far longer and specialist programming knowledge to implement.

Employees who would normally have to dedicate a large amount of time to these (often mundane) tasks can instead invest a fraction of that time. By simply ‘demonstrating’ the process, machine learning and AI-powered robotics can then replicate and repeat this task, freeing up staff to focus on more strategic, rewarding work.

machine arm robotic

  • Difficulty recruiting and retaining skilled workers

Much of the noise around robotics and AI is related to concern over its potential to replace human workers. But what about industries where recruiting and retaining people has become increasingly difficult?

Around 75 per cent of employers globally report difficulty in fulling roles, both due to a lack of well-qualified individuals and increased competition for those who do meet the required level of talent. The knock-on effect of this is higher associated costs, with the median cost of recruiting non-senior employees increasing by 50 per cent between 2021 and 2022.

Although a widespread problem, certain industries are more affected than others. In construction, manufacturing and engineering, the talent shortage is stark: one in three vacancies are hard to fill due to a shortage of skilled employees with the right qualifications or experience.

As the global shortfall of talent appears unlikely to change in the immediate future, VR robotics provides a near-perfect solution. Established systems remain in place, while employers can maximise the capacity and job satisfaction of their existing workforce.

If any of these points sound familiar to you, it’s likely your industry is primed for a step into the world of VR robotics. And as adoption steadily increases across all industries, the key challenge now is to ensure you don’t get left behind.

To find out more about how our VR robotics solutions could drive productivity and efficiency for your business, get in touch.



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