The other stocks mentioned in the report are US-groups Intuitive Surgical, Rockwell Automation Corp and ABB, plus China’s Inovance.
However, there are other companies that may be beneficiaries of the increase in productivity derived from robots. Many of the major technology companies – Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, for example – are heavy investors in AI-based technologies.
Another key beneficiary may be China. China was the largest buyer of robotics in 2014, as it attempts to makes its industrial processes more globally competitive.
Kunjal Gala, senior analyst on Hermes emerging markets’ team, says: “We found that a number of companies are increasingly adopting automation, robotics, online-to-offline commerce and advanced manufacturing to upgrade their operations.”
The government has put stimulus packages in place for the adoption of industrial robots. Robotics may be an important part of the ‘new’ China.
Robotics may be bad for some sectors of the labour force, but on balance, they are good news for many companies, improving productivity and efficiency. In some key industries, successful adoption of robots may be a key determinant of future success. Investors have been warned.