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November 17, 2021updated 27 Jan 2022 1:48pm

Filings buzz: tracking robotics mentions in the tech sector

By Verdict Staff

Mentions of robotics within the filings of companies in the tech sector were 2% lower between July 2020 and June 2021 than in 2016, according to the latest analysis of data from GlobalData.

When tech companies publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Robotics is one of these topics. Companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether robotics is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of tech companies, two measures were calculated. Firstly, GlobalData looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned robotics at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 35% compared to 22% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to robotics.

Of the 50 biggest employers in the tech sector, Quanta Computer Inc was the company which referred to robotics the most between July 2020 and June 2021. GlobalData identified 55 robotics-related sentences in the Taiwan-based company's filings – 1% of all sentences. TDK Corp mentioned robotics the second most – the issue was referred to in 0.8% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high robotics mentions included Mitsubishi Electric Corp, ChinaSoft International Limited and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.

Across all tech companies the filing published in the second quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on robotics came from Naver Corp. Of the document's 1,314 sentences, 14 (1.1%) referred to robotics.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on robotics and how important the issue is considered within the tech sector, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning robotics more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into robotics have been successes or failures.

In the last quarter, tech companies based in Asia were most likely to mention robotics with 0.11% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in Oceania mentioned robotics in just 0.01% of sentences.