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“Get your factory ready for the robotic revolution!”

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Saudi Arabia’s artificial intelligence and robotics sector will account for more than $135.2 billion by 2030, equivalent to 12.4 % of the country’s gross domestic product.

The world is entering a phase where automation is taking over traditional ways of doing business, and the kingdom has also taken important initiatives to support the introduction of robotics into its economy. The average annual growth rate for AI and automation in the UK will reach 31% annually between 2018 and 2030. 

Ahmed Baharoon, an artificial intelligence consultant and founder of Inc Robotics, told source that the kingdom supports the adoption of robotics in various industries. However, the challenges of automating these functions persist. 

“The government is pushing initiatives such as automating 4,000 factories over the next five years, and the Kingdom’s logistics strategy launched last year lists the use of robotics and artificial intelligence in smart cities, including NEOM and The Line,” Baharoon said. 

He emphasized that robotics can significantly reduce costs in many sectors and use human labor for better purposes. 

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It promotes seamless customer service, a positive image for the company, and a better work experience. He added that a robot can improve the customer experience and create great moments that can be used to strengthen brands and present them in a fun way. 

The benefits of automation and robotics can only be seen when companies are willing to take the risk of abandoning traditional ways and paying more now to reduce costs in the future. 

Baharoon added that the kingdom’s robotics companies should start educating businesses about the benefits of automation to reduce costs and encourage the transition to artificial intelligence. 

“Companies are looking for guidance to ensure their investment is not wasted,” he said, adding that bot vendors need to understand the automation process and develop a thorough business case for their customers. 

He stated that the future of the company revolves around robotics, as well as mobile phones and the Internet, which were once considered luxuries until they became a universal necessity. 

Understanding robotics isn’t just for big companies. Baharoon states that even UK start-ups should take risks and come up with automation ideas to gain investor interest rather than think they are ahead of their time. 

“The kingdom’s startups are the most innovative solutions in the region. However, many of them do not want to come up with bold ideas because they are afraid of not getting funding, he added. 

Baharoon advised small and medium-sized companies to start implementing innovative automation solutions that are consistent with the government’s interest in investing.

 Saudi venture capital firms have already expressed interest in the robotics industry, and Aramco’s investment firm Prosperity7 recently invested $150 million in a Chinese startup, Jaka Robotics. The kingdom also saw Saudi Arabia. Excellence Co is partnering with American robotics company Nala Robotics to build the country’s first AI-powered robotic cloud kitchen. 

Research Products Development Co., owned by a sovereign wealth fund, is also adopting robotic solutions to improve its offshore oil operations. The company aims to launch a robot that checks pipeline leaks underwater and is working with Saudi Arabian Oil Co. to develop a prototype by the end of 2022. 

The Kingdom’s interest in robotics is also growing, with large cooperative companies investing in automation and artificial intelligence as part of their operations. The market is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. 
According to a PwC report, by 2025 the Middle East could attract up to $125 billion worth of robotics investment, specializing in the production of hardware solutions. 

“We estimate that the market for industrial and service robots in the region could reach $4 billion by 2025 and that industrial internet of things devices could reach $1.5 billion. As a result, competition among countries to stake claims on tech segments, gain first-mover advantage, and attract global tech companies looking to establish a regional foothold will be fierce, “the report stated. 

 Moreover, the UAE has already started to support entrepreneurs in developing robots with its newly launched Dubai Robotics and Automation Program, led by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the crown prince of Dubai. 

The program, launched on Sept. 21, will provide over 200,000 robots to raise efficiency and productivity levels in multiple sectors and create a futuristic competitive economy. 

Major international companies are also heading to Saudi Arabia to invest in robotics and AI as the Kingdom aims to establish 400 startups in the field, Asharq Al-Awsat reported. 

Investments in robotics are expected to surpass $150 million in the next two years, with the development of smart cities and digitalization rising in the Kingdom.

Source: Arab news

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