German Automation Becomes Tool for Soft Power

Robotics Business Review

German automation is not only a reflection of the country’s industrial strength, but also its ability to remain a technology and business leader.

In my previous articles, we examined German regulations and how collaborative robots and testing are opening up new applications.

This third part looks at how German robotics is leading to a new kind of “soft power” for Europe’s largest economy. As I first described in my book, Next Geopolitics: The Future of World Affairs (Technology), countries are using robotics to informally grow their influence.

For example, as the Fukushima crisis worsened in Japan in 2011, Chancellor Angela Merkel offered Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the use of German robots to help in the cleanup.

Only a few countries have focused on developing and using robotic soft power, and Germany is one of them. Beyond German companies adopting robotics and artificial intelligence for profit, how is German automation helping the country’s global standing?

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