Inside Logistics

Robotics industry branching out, growing quickly

Definition of a robot is in flux and traditional robot manufacturers have seen this industry undergo a dramatic transformation

August 25, 2017

The definition of a robot is in flux and traditional robot manufacturers that have been building and supplying robots for decades have seen this industry undergo a dramatic transformation in the past few years. Robots have either been part of popular culture and science fiction or have been the workhorses of industrial shop floors until now.

But according to a new report from market research firm Tractica, as of 2016, the industrial robotics segment has been surpassed in terms of revenue by emerging robot types such as consumer robots, enterprise robots, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), with autonomous vehicles poised for strong growth in the coming years, as well.

Tractica forecasts that the global robotics industry will grow rapidly between 2016 and 2022, with revenue from unit sales of industrial and non-industrial robots rising from US$31 billion in 2016 to $237.3 billion by 2022. The research anticipates that most of this growth will be driven by non-industrial robots.

“The key underlying story emerging in the industry is that industrial robotics, which has been the traditional pillar of the robotics market, has given way to non-industrial robot categories like personal assistant robots, UAVs, and autonomous vehicles,” says research director Aditya Kaul.

“In this process, the epicenter of the industry is shifting toward Silicon Valley, which is now also becoming a hotbed for artificial intelligence (AI), a set of technologies that are, in turn, driving a lot of the most significant advancements in robotics.”

Tractica’s report, “Robotics Market Forecasts”, covers the global market for robotics, including consumer robots, enterprise robots, industrial robots, healthcare robots, military robots, UAVs, and autonomous vehicles. The technologies included in the analysis are machine vision, voice/speech recognition, gesture recognition, and tactile sensors.