UK's small firms don't fancy advanced technology

The UK might be a leader in advanced technology, such as driverless cars or 3D printing, but the majority of small organisations in the country don’t believe they’ll be using advanced technology any time soon.

Those are the results of a new study by Axa Insurance.

Just 20 per cent (one in five) plan to migrate to the cloud in the next five years. Just six per cent expect to adopt "smart technology", and eight per cent believe they’ll be owning a driverless car by 2020.

Another advanced technology – 3D printing – is also losing popularity, hard. Last month, the first 3D printed house was unveiled in China, but just two per cent of UK tradesmen expect to see the technology in the country – in their lifetime.

Robots will never work in 83 per cent of companies, in ‘decades to come’. Among builders, the ‘hostility’ towards robots is most expressed in the trading industry, where most common objections were that robots “can’t drive”, “operate machinery safely”, or “work in adverse weather or scale ladders”.

“Robots certainly won’t be replacing tradesmen any time soon. That’s because a building project, say an extension, requires a complex level of multi-tasking that no robot can currently achieve. They could make excellent assistants to tradesmen, however,” said Professor Martin Smith, a leading academic in the field of robotics.

“Robots can and do operate machinery, drive cars, and are even capable of bricklaying to a higher degree of accuracy than a human. Working outdoors or at height wouldn’t present a problem either: robots are employed on deep-sea projects across the world and can even scale sheer walls using suction cups, Spiderman-style!”

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