London startup Automata Technologies is hoping to democratise robotics by installing the technology in workplaces. Is it really nothing to worry about?

The technology industry likes to talk about how automation is set to change the world. Chatbots present a new way of interacting with software, self-driving cars promise to reshape our cities, and the increasing capability of AI to handle ever more complex and “human” tasks could reshape our economy. But amid all the futurism, one thing gets lost: actual robots.

London startup Automata Technologies is one of those hoping to reverse the trend. The company makes a tabletop robotic arm, which it hopes will democratise access to automation for every industry by costing a fraction of the tens of thousands of dollars a typical industrial robot costs today – under £5,000 up front, or under £500 a month for a “robotics as a service” package. One thing that’s no different from the world of software bots is that this robot has a woman’s name: Eva.

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