Europe the leader in robot tech

19 June 2019

Robots in construction

Robots at work on a construction site

A new report has revealed that European construction companies have the greatest number of robots per capita.

In Europe, there are currently, on average, 1.2 robots for every 10,000 workers in the construction sector; significantly higher than in the US, where there are 0.2 and China, where there are 0.1.

The report, published by economic analyst ING, also highlighted variations within Europe, where the Netherlands and Belgium have 1.5 robots per 10,000 workers, while Germany and the UK have just 0.8 and 0.3 robots respectively.

Maurice van Sante, senior economist at ING said, “European builders are frontrunners when it comes to robotisation. However, there is still variation between European countries. The Netherlands and Belgium score highly compared to the UK and Germany. High wage costs in these countries mean that robotisation is more likely to be financially attractive. In the last few years, building production has also grown faster in the Netherlands and Belgium, which meant there was room for new investments, including robots.”

While the report highlights the strides being made by the European construction industry, it also points out that the manufacturing industry is significantly more advanced with its adoption of robotisation. Within EU countries, for example, the manufacturing industry currently averages approximately 160 robots per 10,000 workers.

According to van Sante, “Robots may be able to perform various activities in construction, but high investment costs are an issue. Compared to manufacturing, not all construction activities can be carried out in a factory building which means that the transport of robots from one construction site to another, continues to be a challenge.”

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