In the past decade, the global service robotics market has moved from being the subject of science fiction to a potentially lucrative technology niche. The emergence of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, robots as a service, and the Internet of Things have further expanded the potential for robotics.
For instance, Amazon’s use of robots in its order-fulfillment centers shows how automation advances can revolutionize industries ranging from manufacturing and construction to healthcare and retail. Following its cue, numerous startups have been working to develop and adopt robots. This trend is certain to augment the overall service robotics market outlook.
As autonomous and connected systems become easier to apply to multiple industries, they promise to increase productivity and optimize processes, as well as improve customer service. Robots are gaining in popularity in sectors like tourism and hospitality.
A hotel in Italy recently deployed a SoftBank Robotics’ humanoid Pepper. The robot concierge can answer questions in Italian, German, and English. In addition, Knightscope’s security robots have been used in shopping malls, parking lots, and schools, as another example of the diverse nature of the service robotics market.
For Global Market Insights’ purposes, the spectrum of service robotics applications includes logistics, field, defense, healthcare, entertainment, and household sectors. Let’s focus on two of these.
Service robot examples in logistics
Transportation and logistics companies are already using robots extensively used for performing tasks such as custom packaging, stationery piece picking, and container loading and unloading.
E-commerce companies are increasingly relying on robots, which can help them address product shelf life and respond to seasonal product sales. Because of the need to deliver goods such as groceries swiftly to to customers’ doorsteps, the service robotics market for logistics was pegged at $1 billion (U.S.) in 2016.
Robotics companies serving the e-commerce sector can expect more lucrative opportunities in the coming years. For instance, retail behemoth Alibaba Group plans to invest $15 billion to build up its robotic logistics infrastructure.
The Chinese company has spent around $800 million to acquire Cainiao Smart Logistics Network. Alibaba hopes to enhance its global logistics network through greater efficiency in smart warehousing and smart delivery.
Other retailers and e-commerce companies are investing in robotics collaborations, boosting the service robotics market.
Household applications to grow service robotics market
Mundane chores such as floor mopping, lawn mowing, and vacuum cleaning are now being performed by robots across the residential sector. Hiring human housekeepers to perform these tasks is more costly.
Many regional governments are now recommending the adoption of these machines in domestic applications, particularly in countries with aging populations. Cameras, manipulators, and machine learning originally developed for robots to do dirty, dull, or dangerous work can help the elderly in their daily lives.
In 2015, Netherlands-based Tinybots developed a household robot to add value in terms of convenience. Applications using personal robots accounted for 36% of the overall service robotics industry share in 2016.
In the future, we expect service robots to continue benefiting from research and development of sensors, AI, and augmented and virtual reality for scientific exploration, defense, and industrial applications. We predict the service robotics market to grow to $22 billion by 2024. The infographic below shows more of our findings:
For more details, see Global Market Insights’ report on the service robotics market.
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