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WEF19 Ice-skating robots showcase Swiss innovation

Ice-skating robots have proven a popular ambassador for Swiss innovation on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. While companies and innovators are excited about their tremendous potential, the rise of robots is a source of anxiety for many who worry their jobs will disappear.

The WEF’s Future of Jobs Report 2018external link notes that machines and algorithms will do more current tasks than humans by 2025.

The same report, which assesses the outlook of 20 economies and 12 industries, predicts the robot revolution will still create 58 million net new jobs in the next five years.

swissinfo.ch spoke to Professor Stelian Coros, who leads the Computational Robotics Lab at federal technology institute ETH Zurichexternal link, about the potential of the technology underpinning these robots and innovation

Ice-skating robots, which get top marks for their cutting-edge cool factor, are paving the way for next generation mobile robots that can be enlisted for service, assistive care and social companionship.

They are also part of a broader effort to keep Switzerland competitive. The Alpine nation dropped to fourth place in the 2018 WEF Global Competitiveness Indexexternal link, which has changed its methodology.

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