Pundits desperately searching for explanations for the England football team's world cup qualifying performance will find striking parallels with the latest figures for the UK's performance in investment in commercial robots, according to researchers at the University of Warwick.
The curious parallel was noticed by Dr Ken Young a researcher at the University of Warwick and head of the British Automation and Robot Association (BARA) which is based at the university. He also manages one of the UK university Robot Football teams.
Dr Young's British Automation and Robot Association are responsible for calculating the total number of commercial Robots in UK at the end of 2004 for the annual report published United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) published this week.
The figures reveal that the UK is certainly ahead of England's World Cup football qualifying opponents Austria and Poland with 14,176 robots UK robots in place by the end of 2004 compared with Austria's 3907 and Poland's had just 643 robots
England's current footballing difficulties though are also reflected when the UK's Robot figures are compared against more significant European football nations; France has 28,133 robots, Spain 21, 893, Italy 53,244 and Germany 120,554. "Overall our current footballing performance as a nation pretty much reflects our uninspiring performance in commercial robotics" said Dr Young. He added "However there is a real sea change coming in UK robotics. Once it was only automotive manufacturers who used robots but now an increasingly diverse range of UK companies from pharmaceuticals to horticulturalists are beginning to use commercial robots - we can only hope their will be similar renaissance in English football before we have to meet the major teams in the World Cup finals."
Of course the figures only give a total for the UK as a whole and don't breakdown far enough to compare England with other UK World jump qualifying nations such as Wales and Northern Ireland but if the parallel holds Northern Ireland must have bought a very large amount of robots between their two England games..
Note for editors: Dr Young can be pictured/filmed against a background of the robot football if you require - the robots look like 4 inch by 4 inch cubes that race up and down a 3 metre or so marked out pitch.
For further information please contact:
Dr Ken Young, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick Tel: 024 76 522764,
Mobile 0777 5534345
Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager,
University of Warwick Tel: 024 76 523708
or 07767 655860 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PR73 PJD 13th October 2005