The enterprise robotic market is expected to grow to $68 billion by 2022, up from $5.9 billion in 2016, a compound annualized growth rate (CAGR) of 50.2%, a new report said.
According to Boulder, CO-based research company Tractica, worldwide shipments of enterprise robots will grow at a 57% CAGR to 1.2 million units by 2022 from approximately 83,000 units in 2016.
Advancements across the wider robotic industry in the past years have resulted in an unprecedented adoption of robots across a variety of industrial sectors, most prominently agriculture, construction, warehousing and logistics, telepresence, customer service and others.
At the same time, new products are becoming more affordable, productive, and smarter.
To a great extent, the demand is driven by a shortage of skilled human workforce, job difficulties, accidents and unaccounted loss, as well as a number of sector-specific factors.
Affordability and efficiency are another major drivers. In agriculture for instance, farmers are already transitioning from satellite and small plane photos to those taken by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones. Such drones are equipped with special sensors, capable of collecting and transmitting data essential for farmers field operations.
Similar to the manufacturing sector, robotics is having a profound effect on the construction sector.
“Until now, using robots in construction has been limited, due to
the inherently unpredictable and unstructured nature of construction projects. However, a
few highly repeated and predictable activities, such as tiling, bricklaying, concrete paving,
demolition, and concrete recycling, have started to incorporate robots and accelerate on-site execution. Several companies in the United States and Australia have already achieved a masonry productivity gain of more than 100% using bricklaying robots”, the research said.
In warehousing, the robotics solutions are a key part to logistics industries keeping up with global demand and retaining their competitive edge. Demand for robots, optimizing the logistics processes has led to a tipping point which could bring robotics to the point of mainstream adoption in the near future.
The momentum has increased considerable after online ecommerce leader Amazon in 2012 acquired US robotics company Kiva Systems for $775 million. Following the deal, Amazon deployed as many as 45,000 logistics robot within two years across 20 of its fulfillment centers.
In other industries like customer service, robots are also gaining momentum. Despite a slow start and a less than a warm welcome on the part of companies in the past few years, customer service robots are starting to make their way into banks, shopping malls, entertainment centers, airports, stores, etc.
Despite the clear growth potential, barriers and challenges are still abundant in the enterprise robotics industry.
“Awareness and adoption, training of the human workforce, infrastructure, robotic implementations, and difficult to replace human-like skills remain common and concerning market barriers. Technology issues across all application markets revolve around navigation autonomy, machine vision, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, robotic integrations, cloud robotics, and safety and standards”, the report said.