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Volume 978: debated on Wednesday 6 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many industrial robots are currently operating in Great Britain; and how this compares with the numbers in Japan, America, West Germany, France and Italy.

It is estimated that there are about 130 multi-role programmable robots in operation in Great Britain, 4,000 in Japan, 2,500 in the United States of America, 700 in the Federal Republic of Germany, 400 in Italy and 150 in France.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many preproduction orders for robots his Department has financed and at what cost; what similar schemes are being planned in the future; and what resources are involved.

The Department is financing four pre-production orders for robots, at a total cost of £228,800. The Department is also discussing possible future robot projects with other companies, but these are not yet at a stage at which detailed costs can be given.