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The global smart robot market size was USD 5.98 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 31.11 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 23.1% during the forecast period.
Smart robots have the potential of reshaping the global supply chain industry. The adoption of intelligent robots is extremely vital in boosting the manufacturing process; as robots diminish the need for human labor, thus aiding production scalability. Rapidly developing robotic technology offers innovative features and high potential, which is useful for improving productivity and decreasing human efforts. With the increasing demand for local production and consumption, intelligent robots are likely to experience unprecedented growth. Rapid industrialization predominantly drives the global market growth. The trend for industrial automation is further accelerating the adoption of robotics. Automated robots are now becoming ideal for large and small manufacturers due to their accessibility and affordability. As per the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), worldwide the average number of industrial robots per 10,000 laborers rose from 66 in 2015 to 85 in 2017.
Apart from this, intelligent robots have expanded their application in the manufacturing of commercial products. The proliferation of robots in smart infrastructure projects such as smart homes, smart buildings, smart cities, and others would fuel market growth in near future. Integration of robots with advent technologies such as artificial intelligence or machine learning promises significant growth in the adoption due to improved features and performance.
COVID-19 Pandemic: Acceptance of Intelligent Robots to Favor Market
The global COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the human culture and interaction approaches drastically. The social distancing measures imposed by health experts and government have replaced human workers with intelligent robots. As some of the measures may need to be extended up to 2021, robot workers may observe greater demand. The COVID-19 pandemic will influence customer preference due to growing health concerns, which uncovers new opportunities for automation.
The global COVID-19 crisis has escalated the demand for intelligent robots in the healthcare industry. Doctors are increasingly working with robots to assist and automate the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-infected patients. With the growing number of coronavirus-infected patients, the demand for intelligent robots is growing. Several hospitals have started using robots to treat infected patients distantly and effectively. As per the press release by ABB, Ltd in October 2020, it has implemented high precision robots at testing laboratories in Singapore to enhance and speed-up the COVID-19 testing process. These robots can effectively automate manual work in sample processing and reduce test contamination and infection risks. Many hospitals, clinics, even government entities are adopting robots for disinfecting the places. The Danish robot manufacturing company called 'UVD Robots' has shipped hundreds of ultraviolet-light disinfection robots to hospitals in Europe and China.
The pandemic has extended the role of smart robots from manufacturing industry work to residential and commercial purposes. People have started adopting intelligent robots to perform domestic jobs at residential or commercial places. The biggest retailer in America, ‘Walmart,’ uses robots to scrub the floors. During the global pandemic period, South Korea has started using robots to distribute hand sanitizer and measure temperatures to avoid human contact. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven opportunistic for the market of Smart Robots.
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Adoption of Industrial Robots for Cost-saving is Trending in the Market
The use of robots has originated from the growing need for assistance at manufacturing and production factories. Risky human jobs or manual processes can be carried out by robots efficiently and with reduced hazards. Manufacturing companies across several countries are increasingly adopting robots to reduce labor costs by replacing human workers with intelligent robots. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), in 2017, Korea was the global leader in adopting industrial robots with an average use of 710 robots per 10,000 laborers. Similarly, Singapore was ranked second in the adoption of industrial robots by recording 658 robots per 10,000 workers. Germany has attained the third rank with the installation of 322 industrial robots, Japan fourth with 308 robots, and Sweden ranked fifth with 240 robots. In 2017, developed nations like the United States recorded the adoption of 200 industrial robots per 10,000 labors; industrial robots' adoption has showcased steady growth since 2015. This growth validates the increasing demand for industrial robots. This growth has been expected to grow during the forecast period based on the cost savings related to workers' compensation levels. Many industries are planning to achieve cost-saving by replacing human workers with smart industrial robots. Thus, the adoption of industrial robots would emerge as a trend in the global marketplace.
Increasing Demand for Smart Robots in Non-Industrial Applications to Uplift Market
Non-industrial robots can prove to be catalysts in the market, as developers and engineers apply robotics technology to new application areas. Healthcare would be the fastest growing industry, where robots have already played a crucial role in minimally invasive surgery. Nowadays, in the healthcare sector, robots are being used for small surgeries such as urology or gynecology, but will be used in complex medical processes in the near future.
Another growing area for robotics application is agriculture, which is driven by a labor shortage and rising costs. Robots are playing an excellent role in crop harvesting. Picking vegetables or fruits without damaging them has become common practice for the robots. Intelligent robotic harvesters can be equipped with innovative graphic processing units (GPUs) to determine the product's ripeness. Apart from this, drones or autonomous tractors are also part of robotic applications that are used to scan or monitor a plant's health.
The robotic technologies are rapidly expanding their application area as the developers have started designing application-centric robots. Thus, the rapid expansion of automated technology use cases outside the industrial applications validates the significant market development.
Artificial Intelligence in Advanced Robots to Improve Business Scenario
The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) into the field of robotics has transformed the whole landscape by providing robots with enough human-like intelligence. AI-powered robots can learn, acclimatize, and respond to more and more complex environments or situations. AI simulators are progressively becoming accurate to drive real-world applications in an efficient way. These simulators can run hundreds of iterative processes within seconds, generating massive amounts of valuable data. This data can be useful for making the robot more intelligent and decisive. So, the demand for AI technology in intelligent robotics is growing each day.
Artificial intelligence developments have encouraged evolution and better capacity in robots. Artificial intelligence abilities, like natural language processing, can offer the ability to interact with consumers more humanly. By utilizing the AI capabilities robots become more accurate, smarter, and more profitable. Thus, the robots with artificial intelligence would likely to drive the intelligent robot market growth in the coming years.
Growing Data Privacy Concerns to Restrain Market Growth
Ethical issues regarding the ownership of data, particularly with the increase of software services for robots, may limit the market growth. The growing adoption of domestic robots for education, entertainment, and household chores made individuals' secretive data available on the cloud. This data can be purchased by unauthorized users or third parties such as marketing agencies. Sometimes, confidential data accessed from robots can be infringed upon and misused. The consequences of data breaches are significant in the military, defense, and healthcare industries. Therefore, data security is becoming a prime concern while adopting robots, and it may become a major restraint for the market growth.
Application-Specific Developments of Intelligent Robots to Drive Significant Adoption of Domestic Robots
Based on the type, the market for smart robot has been segregated into personal or domestic robots and professional robots. Among these, professional robots hold a significant market share due to the growing automation of commercial tasks. These robots are fully or partially autonomous and are more recent. The Fields of agriculture, construction, defense, logistics, medical, and others are showcasing high demand for professional robots. The emergence of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and adaptive vision systems has further bolstered the intelligent robot’s adoption. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) the sales of service robots for professional use have been valued of approximately USD 11.2 billion in 2019. The introduction of the Robotic-as-a-service (RaaS) model is likely to support professional robot adoption.
The personal or domestic robots would likely to showcase significant growth with the increasing acceptance and demand from the consumer side. Technological research and developments are allowing domestic robots to become more usable and practical day by day. Increasing labor costs and aging population is another crucial factor in driving the demand for domestic robots. Smart infrastructure developments would further escalate the need for personal or domestic purpose robots. The COVID-19 pandemic has also stimulated the demand for domestic robots in public and commercial spaces.
Growing Demand for Flexibility, Mobility, and Convenience Drives the Preference for Mobile Robots
Based on mobility, the global market has been segregated into mobile and fixed or stationary robots. The mobile robot captures the maximum market share due to the growing demand for flexible and autonomous robots. With the increasing penetration of smartphones, the internet of things (IoT) trend of mobility has evolved over the years. Thus, with the growing proliferation of mobile devices, mobile robots are also gaining much popularity across the industry.
Stationary robots are fixed in one position and are experiencing strong demand to assist in industrial processes like material handling, picking, or sorting. With the increasing demand across the manufacturing and automotive industries, stationary robots are likely to exhibit significant growth in the coming years. These robots are highly applicable in manufacturing industries where the demand for stationary assistive robotic systems is high. Surgical robots, along with dynamic arm supports, metal supports, and robotic manipulators, come under stationary assistive robots. The demand for surgical robots is rising in the medical and household field, which is expected to drive the market for fixed robots during the forecast period.
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Material Handling and Sorting at Manufacturing Plants Would Drive Significant Adoption
The global market has been segmented into inspection and maintenance, material handling and sorting, security and surveillance, education and entertainment, sanitation and disinfection, and others based on the application. Smart robots' adoption is majorly driven by the material handling and sorting application due to the high demand for an intelligent material handling system in the manufacturing processes. Inspection and maintenance applications would hold the second-largest share globally as the oil, gas, and petrochemical projects are highly demanding robotic inspection and maintenance technology. Growing security concerns at residential and commercial places drive the adoption of intelligent robots to track or manage security and surveillance systems. Apart from this, this market is rapidly expanding its application area, cultivating new opportunities for the market to grow.
Manufacturing Industry to Hold Significant Market Share Owing to High Demand for Robots
By end user, the market has been classified into manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, military and defense, logistics and warehouse, education and entertainment, and others. Among these, the manufacturing industry is holding a significant smart robot market share as robots have already widespread across the field of manufacturing. The trend of industrial automation is further escalating the demand for robots across the manufacturing industry. Robotic machines reduce the necessity for humans, which entices manufacturing industries to adopt robots for reducing labor costs.
The logistics industry is also showcasing a significant contribution to the global market with the growing demand for mobile automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in storage and warehouse facilities to transport goods. These robots bring significant profits by reducing human errors and also reduces warehouse costs. Thus, the logistics industry is also likely to drive significant market growth.
With the emergence of advent technologies such as AI or machine learning, robots are becoming demandable across the healthcare and agriculture industry. The development of application-driven robotic technologies cultivates new opportunities for intelligent robots across these industries. The proliferation of these robots as teaching assistants has transformed the education landscape completely. Thus, with the rapidly growing application area, intelligent robots would showcase significant demand across the cross-industries.
Asia-Pacific Smart Robot Market Size, 2016-2027 (USD Billion)
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Geographically, the market is studied for five major regions, namely North America, South America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific.
Asia Pacific is a dominating region in the global market by generating 2.41 billion revenues in 2019. China and South Korea are the globally leading countries in the adoption and manufacturing of robots. The significant development of robotic technologies across China and South Korea is the critical factor to drive substantial market growth across the Asia-Pacific. As per the 'Robot-ready: adopting a new generation of industrial robots report' published by the PWC in June 2018, china has recorded the shipments of 115,000 industrial robots in 2017. South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and China are leading in the production and usage of industrial robots. Ongoing industrialization among the developing Asian countries is likely to continue the dominance during the forecast period.
Demand for smart robots is significantly higher in the North American end-use industries, including automotive, manufacturing, healthcare, food and beverages, consumer goods, and others. The technical improvements, trade policies, and wage pressures have driven the rising demand for robotics across the region. The automation trend across the North American nations offers a path for robotics strategy to develop domestically and globally. Venture capital firms across the United States are increasingly investing in robotics technology startups to support the growth of the market across the U.S. For instance, according to the ‘Robot-ready: Adopting a new generation of industrial robot’s report’ published by the PWC in June 2018, the U.S. venture capitalists have invested about USD 937 million in robotics technology startups in the year 2017. Thus, the substantial investments in the robotics technology developments are likely to drive the market growth across North America.
South America is also likely to experience strong growth in the robotics market as Mexico has a strong manufacturing and automation base. The establishment of a trade association by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) in Mexico has embraced the broad-base potential and growth for the robotics market. Thus, with the strong manufacturing base, South America is also likely to exhibit momentous market growth.
Europe is anticipated to showcase significant growth in the global market as the region has focused the vision towards the development of industrial automation. The trend of automation, coupled with the acceptance of advent technologies to drive the demand for robotics technology. The smart infrastructure development roadmaps by the European Government would drive the adoption of intelligent robots in the coming years. The presence of global players across Europe also supports the rising potential of this market.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be opportunistic for the market. As the pandemic has augmented the need for localizing manufacturing, the automated robotics that supports local manufacturing is likely to grow across the region. Affordability and easy accessibility are the key factors to drive the adoption of automated robots across the Middle East and Africa.
Development of Application-oriented and Industry-Specific Robots by Key Players to Bolster Industry
Key vendors in the global market are persistently focusing on developing purpose-built robots to solve a specific problem or have specific market applicability. Industry-specific application-oriented robot development helps key players to sustain their market competence. Successful companies establish strategic partnerships and alignments with the vendors that have already developed necessary technological solutions. Several key players are expanding their robotics business network across the developed economies which can afford to adopt robots. Businesses are launching featured and application-specific products to expand their product portfolio and competitiveness.
For instance, In January 2019, iRobot Corporation launched a mower called ‘Terra Mow’ to eliminate the need for labor-intensive and expensive boundary wires. Several prominent companies adopt ultimate business strategies such as acquiring or merging to expand and enhance their product and business portfolio.
In April 2019, SoftBank Robotics Group’s US-based subsidiary ‘Boston Dynamics,’ acquired the Kinema Systems Inc. The acquisition aimed to assimilate its robotic hands with advanced deep-learning technology applicable to move and locate boxes on complex pallets.
An Infographic Representation of Smart Robot Market
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The global smart robot market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading Applications of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the advanced market over the recent years.
Value (USD billion)
Type; Mobility; Application; End-User and Region
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 5.98 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 31.11 billion by 2027.
In 2019, the Asia-Pacific market stood at USD 2.41 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 23.1%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2020-2027).
The mobile segment is the leading segment in this market.
Increasing demand for intelligent robots in non-industrial applications is expected to drive the market.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, ABB Ltd, KUKA Aktiengesellschaft, FANUC CORPORATION, and among others are major players in the global market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market in 2019.
Artificial Intelligence is expected to cultivate new growth opportunities for the market.
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