Board Byte: Robotics - PwC

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Governance Insights CenterTechnology seriesEmerging technologiesJuly 2017The EssentialEight technologiesBoard byte: roboticsRobotics are changing the way companies dobusiness. What should boards know?Companies across all industries areusing, investing in or planning to investin robotics. As the robotics marketgrows, boards should understandwhether and how this technology mayimpact their company’s

Governance Insights CenterTechnology seriesEmerging technologiesThe next time you order room service, don’t be surprisedif a robot delivers your food. Some hotels already offer thisservice, and others are likely to follow in the near term.Robots, long a part of the American vision of the future, havemoved beyond factory floors. They are being developed towork in hospitality, serve customers at financial institutions,deliver medications in hospitals and even pull weeds onfarms. And these are just a few examples.A coming robotics boom?The market for robots is growing, with sales expected to growmore than 26% through 2019.¹ This uptick is echoed in PwC’sDigital IQ research: Today, 15% of business leaders say theyare making significant investments in robotics technology,and nearly one-third expect to do so in three years.Robotics is an area board members will want to focus onas they continue to raise their Digital IQ and engage instrategic discussions. PwC categorized robotics as one of theEssential Eight technologies after analyzing more than 150emerging technologies.Robotics investmentby industry57%46%44%TodayIn 3 iveIndustrialProductsEnergy &MiningPower &UtilitiesHealthcareTechnology,Retail &Media, Telecom. Consumer6%11%4%PublicSectorSource: PwC, 2017 Global Digital IQ SurveyQ: Which technologies are you making substantial investment in?Bases: Automotive: 72; Energy & Mining: 135; Financial Services: 322; Healthcare: 237; Hospitality & Leisure: 75; Industrial Products: 375;Power & Utilities: 131; Public Sector: 156; Retail & Consumer: 217; Technology, Media & Telecommunications: 433FinancialServices3%Hospitality& LeisureBoard byte: robotics2

Governance Insights CenterTechnology seriesEmerging technologiesFive big trendsHow are robotics changing the way companies do business?1.Robots are working in more places than justfactories. At one time, robots could function only insidetightly controlled and structured environments. Now theycan handle dynamic, less predictable settings.2.Robots can work with people. Thanks to sensors andsmart technology, new generation robots no longer posethe same safety risks to their human “collaborators.”3.Robots can learn. The new robots can “learn” skillsthrough trial and error, mimicking the way people learnnew tasks.4.Robots are no longer single-task machines.Robots can now be customized to fit the company’sspecific needs.5.Robots are moving to the front office. Robots areworking in positions where they interact directly withcustomers and employees.With these changes, the applications for robotics go waybeyond manufacturing. Robots can automate and expeditebusiness operations. They can make those operations moreefficient and reliable. And they can either free up employeesfor more complicated tasks or fill in when labor shortages hit.Board byte: robotics3

Governance Insights CenterTechnology seriesEmerging technologiesRobots in action todayNeed to make a deposit? Meet Nao. Japan’s biggest bankintroduced Nao, a humanoid, interactive companion robot,to serve its customers.² Nao speaks 19 languages andis available 24 hours a day to greet customers and helpdetermine their needs. The robot is also programmedto analyze facial expressions and tone of voice to betterserve customers.One small step for man and robot. Meet Robonaut 2.Designed by researchers at NASA, Robonaut 2 is a highlydexterous, humanoid robot with vision systems, imagerecognition systems, sensor integrations, artificial hands andmuch more. Robonaut 2 is the first humanoid robot in spaceand will conduct research and perform tasks from changingair filters to helping space walkers do repairs on board theInternational Space Station.³Want fries with that? Meet Flippy.Robonaut 2In March 2017, Flippy, the robotic kitchen assistant from MisoRobotics, had its first day on the job at a fast-food restaurantin California. The robot cooked the burgers and placed themon buns—and then the human working beside it addedcondiments and toppings.4Board byte: robotics4

Governance Insights CenterTechnology seriesEmerging technologiesAlthough robots are becoming less expensive and morecapable, there are reasons some companies may be puttingoff making investments in the technology. Human adoption of technology: Is the world really readyto socially accept robots as part of our life? There is asignificant culture question to be tested over the comingmonths and years as to the degree and extent of comforthumans have working and interacting with robots. Maturity of the market: While robots have been usedin industry for decades, robots are now being designedto work alongside humans. Service robots or cobots(collaborative robots) are examples of the evolving stateof interaction between robots and humans, though somecompanies may be waiting for this market to mature further. Perceptions regarding labor displacement: The concernthat robots will eliminate jobs can complicate employeeand labor relations. Compliance: Following safety regulations can beexpensive, especially for smaller businesses. Implementation costs: While the cost of robots is comingdown, the cost of changing and installing new systems canbe prohibitive.Board byte: robotics5

Governance Insights CenterTechnology seriesEmerging technologiesQuestions boards can askmanagement about roboticsMany companies may be able to find innovative ways to userobotics that make them more efficient and set them apartfrom competitors. How can boards discuss the potential andstrategic fit for emerging robotic solutions with management?Some questions include: Have we inventoried our processes and identifiedrepetitive, mundane or undifferentiated tasks done byhumans that could be carried out by robots? Were any automation efforts shelved in the past because ofhigh cost? If so, are they viable now? Are there tasks that we do not perform because theyare not core to our business, but we would if we coulddo so economically? Have we explored what gains inproductivity, efficiency and waste reduction we couldachieve by deploying robots in various operations? Are there tasks that require high precision and dexteritythat we have difficulty securing human talent to perform? Have we considered pilots in low risk markets to evaluatethe adoption and engagement with robots?Boards with a basic understanding of robotics and theother Essential Eight technologies can better overseemanagement’s decisions on those most relevant to theircompany’s business and most likely to create opportunity.Find additional resources on robotics and emergingtechnologies on PwC’s Next in Tech hub.For more resources on what boards should know about the Essential Eight anddigital transformation, go to our website, Technology hub: insights for corporateboard members.Board byte: robotics6

ContactsProject teamFor a deeper discussion about how this topicmight impact your business, please contact:Elizabeth StrottSenior Research FellowUS Integrated Content TeamVicki Huff EckertGlobal and US New Venture andInnovation 817 4136Chrisie WendinEditorial Director, TechnologyUS Integrated Content TeamPaula LoopLeader, Governance Insights 471 1881Barbara BerlinDirector, Governance Insights 236 5349Karen BissellMarketingGovernance Insights CenterRoberto RojasDesignCreative TeamRyan LaskoDesignCreative TeamEndnotes1. Technavio, Global Robotics Market 2015-2019, September 2015; arket-2015-2019.2. MUFG, Embracing innovation for change, cle/2016 01.html., accessed April 5, 2017.3. “Robonaut 2 Technology Suite Offers Opportunities in Vast Range of Industries,” NASA R2 Robonaut, accessed March 27, 2017; Kitchen Assistants, Miso Robotics, accessed March 27, 2017; tos (cover, p4, p5) credit: NASApwc.comThis content is for general information purposes only, and should not be a substitute for consultation with professional advisors. 2017 PwC. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the US member firm or one of its subsidiaries or affiliates, and may sometimesrefer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details.313283-2017 DG

Technology series. Emerging technologies. The Essential . Eight technologies . Board byte: robotics. Robotics are changing the way companies do business. What should boards know? Companies across all industries are using, investing in or planning to invest . in robotics. As the robotics market grows, boards should understand whether and how .

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