Post #6: Do we need a national robot strategy?

This is probably not a question currently to put to the Government of your author’s home country, with fewer than 40 days until Brexit is due to happen.

Post #6: Do we need a national robot strategy?

This is probably not a question currently to put to the Government of your author’s home country, with fewer than 40 days until Brexit is due to happen. Nonetheless, the topic is of crucial importance. Every country should have a national robot strategy, at least in the developed world. Yet, currently only Japan does. And the reason why – put simply – is demographics.

The future has already happened. There is a very strong correlation between the countries with the highest levels of robotic penetration (robots-per-worker ratio) in the world and those with the oldest workforces – think about Japan and Germany as good examples. However, the relationship goes much further than this: elderly people need caring for, and who better to do this potentially than robots? One notable statistic that struck us recently is that this year, for the first time in human history, there will be more people over 65 than under 5. By 2060, the number of Americans over 65 will double to 98m, while in Japan, 40% of the population will be 65 or over (source: The Economist). 

What this means is that there will simply not be enough younger people to look after so many older people unless robots help. At present, when we conceive of robots, they are predominantly of the industrial sort, involved in car assembly and the like. The International Federation of Robotics, an industry body, estimates that fewer than 10% of robots in circulation at present could be considered ‘service’ robots, aimed at helping the handicapped, administering medicine, and the like. Nonetheless, technology is improving and the range of tasks that robots can perform is correspondingly growing.

To return to Japan, its government estimates that some 8% of its nursing homes currently have robots. Per its national strategy, by 2020, 80% of its elderly should have some care provided by a robot. Such advanced thinking speaks of a combination of necessity and pragmatism. It behoves other nations to be thinking along similar lines.  


The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

The document is protected by copyright. The use of any trademarks and logos displayed in the document without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent is strictly prohibited. Information in the document must not be published or redistributed without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent. 

Heptagon Capital LLP, 63 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HS
tel +44 20 7070 1800
fax +44 20 7070 1881
email [email protected] 

Partnership No: OC307355 Registered in England and Wales Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 

Related Insights

Featured Insights
Featured Insights23 September 2021

Season 3, Post 36: Houses of the future

We’ve all spent more time than we might have anticipated in our homes over the past year. Even with many countries now reopening, it seems likely that the future will comprise more of a balance between home and the office. Our houses will almost certainly therefore (need to) become smarter. For one perspective, go to […]

Learn more
Future Trends Blog
Future Trends Blog15 September 2021

Season 3, Post 35: Benjamin Franklin was right…

Perhaps the most famous observation made by Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s Founding Fathers, is that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes” Accept this maxim and it is only a step to recognising that arguably the biggest problem – or future trend – that the world faces is how to […]

Learn more
Featured Insights
Featured Insights09 September 2021

Season 3, Post 34: The future is meatless

If everyone in the UK were to eat just one more plant-based meal a week than they currently do, then this would be equivalent to taking 16m cars off the road, thereby reducing the country’s carbon emissions by over 8%. That’s a pretty good incentive for cutting down on meat consumption. An equally compelling one […]

Learn more

Get The Updates

Separated they live in Bookmarks right at the coast of the famous Semantics, large language ocean Separated they live in Bookmarks right


Sign up to our monthly email newsletter for the latest fund updates, webcasts and insights.