• Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

According to the International Robotics Federation (IRF), there were approximately half a million robots installed globally in 2022, a two-fold increase from the number seven years prior. Moreover, the World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that by the year 2025, over 50% of job tasks will be carried out by robots and algorithms.

The act of investing in automation has itself become an imperative to effectively handle the tasks essential for today’s success. Factors including the availability of user-friendly robotic solutions and the expanding embrace of robotics in diverse industries, along with ongoing labor scarcity, have collectively fueled an unprecedented surge in the number of robots in use.

In the coming decades, advanced automation — characterized by the integration of more sophisticated high-tech robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) — will broaden the range of tasks and jobs that machines can perform. The consistent evolution of human-robot collaboration enables an expanded range of products with higher load capacities and extended operational reach, all of which is supported by the seamless deployment of interconnected business ecosystems.

As per the findings of PwC's Global Artificial Intelligence Study, a substantial 45% of the trillion-dollar economic gains projected by 2030 will be attributable to AI and automation advances. This will surely drive consumer demand in manufacturing, highlighting efficiency gains and areas in need of improvement.

Taking all of these developments into account, let’s explore the world's most automated nations and their progress-to-date in machine-driven processes.

South Korea

According to the IFR World Robotics 2022 report, South Korea secured the lead in robot density, registering an impressive 1,000 industrial robots per 10,000 manufacturing employees in 2021. Notably, South Korea's robot density surpasses the global average by a factor of seven, as the global standard itself is 141 robots per 10,000 employees.

Over the years, South Korea has faced a decline in its population due to persistently low fertility rates. Consequently, this has resulted in a decrease in the working-age populace and transformed the nation into an "aging society." In response to this demographic shift, the government initiated proactive measures in 2019, integrating robots and AI across diverse industry sectors to address this demographic shift. This strategic automation deployment, led by robots and AI, is emerging as a viable pathway for South Korea's economic and societal advancement.

Beyond its robust industrial robot presence, South Korea has also witnessed the proliferation and diversification of service-oriented robots across domains such as culinary arts, catering, delivery services, healthcare, security, architecture and agriculture. Telecom giants including SK, LG Uplus and KT are also venturing into robotics, leveraging their expertise in robotics technology and extensive big data and cloud capabilities.


Japan stands as a pioneer in automation and robotics innovation. The nation's aging population, labor shortages and high operational costs drive Japanese corporations to refine their processes and optimize their competitiveness.

This drive towards automation has propelled Japan to lead in the manufacturing and export of industrial robots in 2022. With over 300,000 industrial robots actively engaged across various sectors, Japan boasts the highest robot density per manufacturing employee. These versatile robots span diverse industries like automotive, electronics and healthcare.

The Japan Robot Association reported a record-breaking surge in orders for industrial robots from Japanese manufacturers, totaling 955.8 billion yen ($7.35 billion) in 2022, a 1.6% increase from the previous year. This rise in orders reflects robust demand for production line automation driven by global labor shortages as well as the transition to electric vehicles.

Production figures also surged by a notable 5.6%, reaching 879.2 billion yen. The trend toward integrating automation for packaging and transportation is growing in sectors like logistics, food and pharmaceuticals.


As per the latest IFR study, China had 322 operational robots per 10,000 employees across its manufacturing landscape in 2021. And in 2022, the government unveiled an ambitious five-year plan with the aim of positioning China as a global leader in industrial automation.

China employs a distinctive approach to robot development, resulting in adaptable robot systems tailored for specific functions such as welding, painting and assembling automotive components. The country features an extensive network of factories and industrial parks dedicated exclusively to the production and integration of robotics. China has strategically fostered numerous venture capital funds, incubators and accelerator programs, promoting an environment conducive to the widespread adoption of robotic technology.

China witnessed a notable 45% increase in industrial robot installations in 2021 compared to the previous year. Impressively, nearly half of global heavy-duty industrial robot installations are in China. VDMA Robotics + Automation projects China to surpass Germany in robot density by 2023, elevating its level of automation.


In both 2020 and 2021, Germany maintained its position as the fourth most automated nation globally, according to data from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). Notably, the country achieved a significant milestone by deploying 397 industrial robots for every 10,000 employees in 2021.

As Europe's foremost robotics hub, Germany dominates the continent's robot market, commanding over 30% of its inventory. This status firmly establishes Germany as the region's automation leader.

An Information Services Group report illuminates how businesses in Germany have intensified their efforts toward advanced automation and digital transformation. This escalation has been driven by unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, German enterprises are increasingly embracing the shift from legacy IT systems to those of artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps).

Experts foresee a 9% revenue expansion, reaching 15.7 billion euros by the end of 2023. Correspondingly, German robotics and automation technology entities forecast record-breaking sales of 16.2 billion euros in 2023, marking an impressive 13% boost in sales.


Sweden maintained its lead as the foremost Innovation Leader on the 2022 European Innovation Scoreboard, achieving an impressive 135.7%/150% of the EU average and ranking as the world's third-most innovative nation.

With a robust industrial sector contributing to 15% of its GDP and engaging 20% of the workforce in 2020, Sweden solidifies its stature as an economic powerhouse.

Demonstrating its rich history of nurturing and cultivating industries that gain international acclaim, Sweden's industrial landscape spans diverse domains, from pharmaceuticals to forestry, manufacturing and retail. This trend persists in the digital age, exemplified by renowned brands like Ericsson and Spotify, which showcase Sweden's technology and software prowess.

Pioneering its national AI strategy as early as 2018, Sweden stands out among its Nordic peers. Stockholm, in particular, distinguishes itself with the highest number of AI start-ups among Nordic capitals, as highlighted by the Global AI Talent Report. These facets highlight Sweden's thriving innovation ecosystem, especially in AI, and underscore its substantial AI talent pool in the Nordic region.

United States

According to a report by Goldman Sachs, the United States has a notable distribution of tasks that hold distinct potential for automation. Office and administrative support roles take the lead, with 46% of their tasks being automatable, followed by legal work at 44% and architecture and engineering tasks at 37%.

In Q3 2022, North American enterprises showed strong robot demand, with 11,901 units ordered, a 20% rise from the previous year. The semiconductor/electronics sector accounted for 44% of these orders.

According to data from the Association for Advancing Automation, US-based companies acquired over 44,100 robots in 2022, up 11% from the prior year. These machines' collective value amounted to $2.38 billion, a substantial 18% upswing from the preceding year.

Automakers and their suppliers were responsible for over half of last year's orders, a segment that has long led the US manufacturing automation movement. A trend has emerged with the announcement of new facilities dedicated to electric vehicles, batteries and battery recycling, totaling $160 billion, as reported by Atlas Public Policy.


Italy's robust presence in robot and automation technology positions it as a prominent leader in Europe. The Italian industry impressively boasts 655 robot and automation companies, establishing its dominance as the largest in Europe and surpassing even esteemed counterparts like France and Germany, as confirmed by a comprehensive market report drafted by HowToRobot and the Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Association (UCIMA).

A defining strength of the Italian industry lies in packaging machinery and automation, where it emerges as a formidable contender. Italy claims an impressive 16.5% share of the global packaging machinery market, generating a robust €8.1 billion turnover in 2021, with 78% originating from exports.

Italy's robot and automation industry serves as a dynamic player in both local and global markets, effectively addressing the escalating demand for automation solutions. On a global scale, the International Federation of Robotics projects a notable increase in robot installations, from 517,000 units in 2021 to an anticipated 690,000 units by 2025.


Automation has emerged as a defining trend in French manufacturing, with an increasing number of companies directing their investments toward technological advancement. A Bpifrance Le Lab survey shows that 70% of French manufacturers hold modernizing their production processes as either "an important goal" or an outright "priority."

France secured the eighth position globally for robot deployment, per the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), claiming the third spot in Europe in 2022. The year saw a 15% increase in annual installations, totaling 7,400 units.

Notably, the primary beneficiary of this surge was the metal industry, commanding a 22% market share with 1,600 units. Similarly, the automotive sector experienced commendable 19% growth, also achieving 1,600 units, or a market share of 21%. This growth trajectory is further fortified by the €100 billion stimulus package introduced by the French government to foster smart factory equipment investments.

The nation’s strategic outlook extends to automated road mobility, with France establishing a requisite national strategy in May 2018 to propel its development. 


The Danish government has introduced a fresh Digitalization Strategy to actively address future needs through digital technologies. This strategy seeks to streamline the roles of specialists by automating repetitive tasks and focusing on core functions.

The Robot Market Report regarding Denmark highlights a comprehensive national roster of 323 robot and automation suppliers, encompassing. diverse entities including robot manufacturers, integrators, sub-component suppliers, distributors and advisory bodies.

Denmark's robotics, automation and drone technology sectors have grown notably in recent years, exhibiting remarkable scale relative to the nation's size. The nation excels globally in collaborative and mobile robots, food automation, professional service robots and intralogistics.

In line with insights from HowToRobot's comprehensive market report, the industries most enriched with robot and automation suppliers in Denmark align with the robotics sector itself: metal and machinery manufacturing; food and beverage; and logistics.

Within this landscape, the prevailing applications for Denmark's robot and automation suppliers include handling and picking; logistics and storage; and assembly and dispensing. However, this scope extends to encompass emerging niche applications such as cleaning, disinfecting, farming and groundskeeping.


Over 80% of enterprises in Singapore have already integrated at least one digital automation solution. Among businesses yet to embrace automation, 8 out of every 10 plan to start the process in 2023. A resounding 98% reported positive outcomes from automation, including streamlined tasks, enhanced data visibility and an improved overall employee experience.

Remarkably, 82% of these enterprises saw tangible results in just 6 months, with 20% experiencing transformative effects within 1 to 4 weeks.

According to a global survey by UiPath, it is evident that employees across Singapore show a favorable disposition towards AI-powered tools. This gives rise to the "automation generation." Nearly 70% go so far as to believe automation can counteract burnout and enhance job satisfaction.

Lastly, as highlighted in a telling report by Slack, 30% of Singaporean companies have embraced AI technology. Indeed, Singapore stands as a focal point for tech-related employment opportunities, with sizable demand evident across a diverse range of sectors.

By Elvi Correos, Senior Journalist, Telecom Review

Pin It