TECH
05/03/2015 05:12 GMT | Updated 05/03/2015 05:59 GMT

Poll: Britain Refusing To Capitulate To Helpful Robot Assistants

The majority of people are unwilling to succumb to the inevitable domination of humanity by robots -- or, to put it another way, to consider using robot assistants to assist their relatives.

Despite the development and adoption of assistant bots in other parts of the world, in the UK just a third (33%) of people asked said they would consider using a robot to assist an elderly or disabled relative.

In fact, 17% said they would not consider using robots at all.

robot polar bear

Robots are being developed for use in hospitals and to help people in their homes with tasks such as dispensing medicines and aiding with mobility.

William Webb, president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), which commissioned the survey, said healthcare is a particularly important area of robotics research as the challenges of an ageing population and increasing demands on health budgets mean that providers require new ways to deliver care cost-effectively.

Other ways the technology can be used range from automated trolleys and wheelchairs through to health monitoring systems, automated surgical equipment and humanoid "nurse robots".

Webb said: "Robots have the potential to play a crucial role in improving the lives of people, particularly the elderly and those with disabilities.

"But we need to make people aware of the huge benefits robotics can provide while addressing their concerns about loss of personal contact and a natural reluctance to embrace new technologies, so that we can make smarter use of this technology to help people manage health conditions and stay independent for longer."

The survey saw 2,023 adults questioned last month.