Global robotics market to be worth $147bn by 2025

The global market for robotics will see double-digit growth over the next six years.
9 November 2018

A compact MZ12 industrial robot made by Nachi Robotic. Source: AFP

A sea-change towards automation across labor-intensive industries is tipped to see the global market for robotics display “double-digit growth” in the coming years, accruing a revenue worth of $US147 billion in the next six years— up from US$35 billion in 2016.

The figure, which comes from a report by Transparency Market Research (TMR), is based on a growth rate of 17.4% between 2017 to 2025 and would account for approximately 2,731 robotic units.

The rise of the robots comes as many industries struggle with rising labor costs and a lack of skilled workers, with many companies turning to robotic process automation (RPA) to conduct menial tasks in manufacturing and production.

In automotive manufacturing for instance— where robots have been used for decades— Machine Vision (MV) is used for safety inspections, utilizing technologies such as infrared, 3D imaging and X-ray to negate a time-intensive task for human safety inspectors.

This type of machine, known as static robotics— the metal, arm-like machines that probably spring to mind when you think of robotics in production lines— currently account for the highest amount of spend, owed to their prolific deployment in aerospace, manufacturing, automotive, and even healthcare, where skilled workforces can be hard to come by.

In terms of the global concentration of this growth, the Asia Pacific region is set to see the fastest growth because of “incessant innovation” taking place, and its widespread application across industries, anticipated to gain from the advent of nanotechnology and collaborative robots.

However, North America is also set to see significant growth owed to the strength of its robot manufacturing market, as well as contracts from the defense sector, such as DARPA. At the same time, however, its market is dominated by a handful of leading players, namely Google Inc., Northrop Grumman Corporation, iRobot Corporation, and Fanuc Corporation.

But growth is global and unrelenting; TMR attributes this to robotic systems being a “win-win”, enabling labor costs to be cut and production levels to be increased— albeit coming at a hefty initial cost— as well as helping in potentially difficult or dangerous working conditions such as in construction, mines, and oil and gas wells.

“All over the world labor-intensive industries are looking for ways to reduce operating costs and improve efficiency. This has led to the uptake of more automated procedures thereby providing a major fillip to the global robotics market,” said a TMR analyst.