Logo URG

Press release

28 feb 20245 min read

Survey by United Robotics Group shows: Education increases acceptance of robots

Sentiment barometer: Germans are slightly more reserved than participants from other countries

  • International consensus on the growing importance of the robotics sector
  • Scepticism about robotics often results from insufficient information.
  • Germany needs to catch up internationally when it comes to integrating robotics into
  • educational institutions.
  • 80 percent see benefits for the workplace despite general fears about jobs
  • The respondents believe that employment in the robotics sector requires a higher level of education.

Bochum – February 20, 2024 – Robots and their use in our society are associated with different images and expectations. They represent future and technological progress, but at the same time raise skepticism. In order to provide a consistent overview, the United Robotics Group, European market leader in service robotics, conducted an international study with market research expert Harris Interactive surveying a total of 7,779 participants in Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United States. It shows the prevalent opinion on advancing automation in a cross-country comparison.

The barometer reveals: In general, people in the surveyed countries are very interested in robotics. There is a consensus among respondents that the sector will grow in importance - in Germany, a full 90 percent of participants believe this. In areas such as industry, digital technology, security and, above all, healthcare, the perception is largely positive.

In general, the Germans surveyed see robotics as a good opportunity to tackle some of the pressing social challenges - from demographic change and the resulting shortage of skilled workers to the growing importance of innovative services. Even more than in other countries, participants from Germany see considerable potential for the increased use of robots in social areas such as the hospitality industry (61 percent), care (67 percent) or the education sector (67 percent).

At the same time, the level of information on the topic of robotics in society is relatively low. Results of the study show that many people feel inadequately informed or not informed at all - particularly in Germany and France. This lack of knowledge gives rise to numerous uncertainties and fears about the actual impact of the use of robots in everyday life. These range from an unpleasant feeling in the presence of a largely autonomous robot to concerns about the impairment of social ties and as well as worries about the rationalization of jobs.

Opportunities and risks roughly equal

Overall, opinions on the opportunities and risks of robotics in Germany are divided. A majority believe that both are roughly balanced - with a slight overweighting of the risks.

Contrastingly, respondents in Italy and the United States in particular emphasise the benefits somewhat more strongly.

"Almost everyone is aware of the growing importance of robotics - but given the concerns that still exist, continued education is just as important as emphasising the benefits in order to reduce fears and uncertainties. Gaining sensitivity towards the topic should begin as early as possible. This requires massive investment in education," explains Thomas Linkenheil, Co- CEO of the United Robotics Group. "If suitable financing strategies are developed for service robotics in Europe and funding for research and innovation is increased, robotics can unfold its full potential - and convincingly refute the arguments of sceptics."

Education system: Germany has some catching up to do compared to other countries

However, the interviewees not only see risks, but above all the two central areas of 'the world of work' and 'education' as the key levers for a robotics transformation.

Robotics has an important role to play in education - after all, this is where the foundations for further progress are laid and the skilled workers of tomorrow are trained. Nevertheless, there are major deficits in this area. This is particularly true in Germany, where only 38 percent support learning with the help of robotics in elementary school. In fact, only eleven per cent have come into contact with the topic here so far; in secondary schools and universities, the figure is 19 per cent each. The corresponding figures are higher in all other countries.

Yet the topic was largely supported by the study participants: The teaching of robotics content is particularly popular at secondary school and university level.
Parents and pupils/students see the use of robotics in lessons and the presence of robots in the classroom predominantly positively. In addition, parents tend to be more encouraging of integrating robotics into the curriculum from the outset than teachers or students. Users expect it to promote rational thinking in areas such as mathematics or engineering (70 to 79 percent approval) and organisational skills (49 percent approval) in particular.

Opportunities outweigh risks in the world of work - but questions about entry remain

In the world of work, robotics is viewed positively by almost 80 percent of respondents. This is particularly true with regard to corresponding activities in this sector.

70 percent of respondents in all countries believe that robotics and the relevant companies in the sector are attractive as potential employers. However, around 75 percent are still unclear about suitable entry opportunities in the sector. Furthermore, such activities are primarily seen as an offer for a group of employees with a higher level of education.

Nevertheless, 49 per cent of the study participants from Germany between the ages of 15 and 24 could imagine working in this field when choosing a career - in comparison, this is less than in other countries.

About the study

Online surveys carried out simultaneously across 5 countries by Toluna Harris Interactive from 24 October to 2 November 2023. Total sample of 7,779 people, representative of the national population of each country aged 15 and over: France (1,568 people), Germany (1,561 people), Italy (1,566 people), United States (1,536 people), Canada (1,548 people). Quota method and adjustment applied to the following variables: gender, age, region of residence and income level of respondents in each country (excluding France, where socioprofessional category [SPC] is used instead of income).

About United Robotics Group

United Robotics Group, founded by Thomas Hähn in 2020, unites eight service robotics companies into a unique ecosystem by bundling hardware and software expertise under one roof. Over 500 employees and 30 nationalities work at the company. Headquartered in Bochum, Germany, and with offices in France, Spain and the United States, United Robotics Group brings together cutting-edge technology and robotic experts from both the social and industrial world. United Robotics Group shares the common ambition to empower humanity with technology, and lighten processes for humans, helping them focus on human interactions in a safe and secure environment. As the CobiotX company who created this third generation of robotics – robots for humans, the United Robotics Group is committed to developing standardized and customized solutions to meet social and business challenges in the life science, health and care, hospitality, education, intralogistics, maintenance and surveillance sectors with quality, data protection and sustainability as key driving forces. All planning humans in the center of all. RSBG SE, the investment entity of RAG-Stiftung, focused on technology and engineering driven companies is majority shareholder of United Robotics Group. SoftBank Robotics Group is minority shareholder of United Robotics Group.


Press contact:

Johannes Kober
Head of Corporate Communication & Public Affairs, United Robotics Group GmbH j.kober@unitedrobotics.group | +49 174 6159342

Ewa Krzeszowiak & Betty Lauerbach, FleishmanHillard Germany URG_Germany_Press@fleishman.com | +49 173 2674225 | +49 162 1340666

Other News & Events

View more