The Financial Times reports the accelerating pace of automation on factory floors saw a double-digit rise in worldwide sales of industrial robots to a record level in 2015. The surge was driven by companies installing machines not only in advanced countries but also emerging economies, according to research by the International Federation of Robotics. It found that 248,000 units were sold last year, an increase of 12%, with more than one in every four of those going to China. Once the manual labour “workshop of the world”, the country is today the largest buyer of industrial robots. Robots have sparked fears that jobs will be destroyed as more processes become automated without the need for human intervention.