This paper addresses the current and emerging uses and impacts of robots, the mid-term future of robotics and the role of policy. Progress in robotics will help to make life easier, richer and healthier. Wider robot use will help raise labour productivity. As science and engineering progress, robots will become more central to crisis response, from helping combat infectious diseases to maintaining critical infrastructure. Governments can accelerate and orient the development and uptake of socially valuable robots, for instance by: supporting cross-disciplinary R&D, facilitating research commercialisation, helping small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) understand the opportunities for investment in robots, supporting platforms that highlight robot solutions in healthcare and other sectors, embedding robotics engineering in high school curricula, tailoring training for workers with vocational-level mechanical skills, supporting data development useful to robotics, ensuring flexible regulation conducive to innovation, strengthening digital connectivity, and raising awareness of the importance of robotics.