A British robotics company has launched a robot rental service which it hopes will allow businesses to begin using robot workers without up-front investment.

West Midlands-based Warrington Robotics has launched the service, Bots, which it claims is one of the first of its kind in the UK.

Aimed at both industrial and commercial businesses, the robots for hire include robotic arms and humanoid robots.

"As the demand for this technology grows, we’re supporting many of our customers who are new to using robots," said Tim Warrington, CEO at Bots.co.uk.

"Most clients will start out with one robot, to see how it goes, usually before hiring multiple numbers. Robot rental is already popular in the US by businesses such as Hirebotics, but is not something that has been seen in the UK before."

The company says that collaborative robotic arms are suited to industrial environments such as factories and are capable of picking up automated tasks including operating screwdrivers and gluing, without the risk of repetitive injury strain suffered by human workers.

The service includes the installation and training of the robots for hire, as well as maintenance.

The company claims that existing employees can work safely alongside the collaborative robots with minimal safety restrictions. The robots can be approached and manipulated, and detect unexpected interferences.