Automation our saving grace
If there is one thing that COVID-19 has taught us, it is that the virus has no regard for race, nationality, sex or age. With a large proportion of the world’s workforce in isolation you might be forgiven for thinking that manufacturing, in all its rich variety has ceased. Of course, that is not the case, manufacturing continues but robotics is playing a key role in both production and logistics. So, perhaps it is no surprise that business is turning to automation to become faster and more agile. Testing for COVID-19 is a case in point, here automation has enhanced the entire process enabling a higher volume of testing to take place with reduced waiting time, something that is currently of huge importance. And AI has also played its part in identifying drug combinations that inhibit the cellular processes that the virus uses to infect human cells. While we wait for a vaccine to be developed, there is an immediate need for medicines that can prevent life-threatening respiratory and other serious complications of COVID-19 infections. If there is a winner, when this is all over, it will be robotics and AI. Informed comment suggests that these technologies will trigger a step-change in business in a way that we cannot as yet comprehend.