Increasingly, robotics is becoming part daily life, from the manufacturing floor to the consumer sales floor. To meet the demand, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are and will continue to evolve to create an emerging sector called enabled robotics. This new generation of robotics will transform the way things get done over the next five years.
Dr. Jing Bing Zhang, research director, Worldwide Robotics and IDC Asia/Pacific Manufacturing Insights explained:
The advancement of robotics technology has entered into a new era of robotics with embedded and/or cloud-based artificial intelligence. In this new era of Robotics 3.0, intelligent robots are characterized by their ubiquitous sensing and connectivity, cyber-physical fusion, autonomous capabilities (such as cognition, decision making, and learning and adaptation), and more human- friendly multimode interaction. This development will have a profound impact on industrial robots and service robots (both commercial and consumer). Leading robotics technology vendors are already racing to develop and incorporate artificial intelligence capabilities into their product road map in order to stay ahead of the competition.
Robotic sales point toward strong growth. Global spending on robotics (including drones) and related services will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.8% from more than $82.5 billion in 2016 to $230.7 billion in 2021, according to IDC's 2H16 Worldwide Semiannual Commercial Robotics Spending Guide, published in June 2017. Robotic systems, system hardware, software, robotics-related services, and aftermarket robotics hardware are all included in this category.
We asked John Santagate, research director, Service Robotics, at market research firm IDC for his thoughts on the biggest trends that the industry will see. We asked about the key market drivers, as well as the development and deployment of robotics over the next five years.
“The capabilities of the technology are expanding and robots have the ability to do more,” Santagate said. “You can do processes that in the past were unable to be performed by a robot.”
The venture funding community, recognizing that trend, is funding more robotics companies than ever before. In 2014, $340 million in venture capital went to fund 27 deals, according to the Robot Report. The following year, VCs spend almost a billion dollars on 43 deals, and last year they spent just under $2 billion on 128 deals.
Click on the image below to start a slideshow of IDC’s 10 predictions for robotics for industrial, commercial, and consumer applications in the coming years, from 2018 through 2021.
10 Predictions about Industrial Robots in the Next 5 Years
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN