I, Cobot

Image credit: iStockphoto/PJ66431470

The ease, convenience, and low cost of collaborative robots — or ‘cobots’ — is likely to drive the robotics segment and should be the fastest-growing product by 2024, according to analysts Frost & Sullivan.

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis finds that the global industrial robotics market will reach revenues of USD 38.3 billion in 2024 from USD 22.2 billion in 2020 at a CAGR of 12.2%.

The Cobot segment is forecasted to record a CAGR of 32.8% (2019-2024) and reach USD 1.78 million in global revenues. 

Although the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed the industry and created uncertainty in the automotive business, rising demand from other high-growth sectors is expected to propel the market segment over the next five years.

Industrial robots’ progress through 5G, edge AI, and machine learning capabilities will create more investment opportunities.

Pharmaceuticals will be the fastest-growing segment, with a CAGR of 17.2% from 2019 to 2024, reaching USD 3.33 million by the end of the forecasted period, followed by food & beverage (F&B) and electrical and electronics, expanding at 15.8% and 15.1%, respectively.

“The global battle against the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a strong use case for industrial robots, which helped assure business continuity,” said Nandini Natarajan, industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

“While 2020 witnessed reduced investments in robotics, the demand for industrial robots will rise sharply from 2021 on. The introduction of low-cost robots and innovative business models such as Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) are expected to drive demand from small and medium enterprises (SMEs).”

Natarajan said that cobots were experiencing rapid market growth thanks to their utility, ease of installation, and consistently decreasing price, making them an affordable and viable solution for a wide range of applications.

The Asia Pacific region dominates the global industrial robotics market, and revenues are estimated to top USD 25.08 billion by 2024, with China, Japan and South Korea driving progress.

The European region is the second most important, propelled by the automotive industry and Germany-the fifth-largest country globally for industrial robotics.

In Spain, for example, carmaker SEAT is using the EffiBOT, a cobot developed by French company Effidence. It is capable of following the person who tapped its touchscreen as they move around the factory, without the need for them to have any device on them. It continues to follow them even when another person or object comes in their way.

Among other tasks, the EffiBOT removes the burden of carrying heavy loads from workers. It can transport all kinds of materials needed for car assembly, whether carrying up to 250 kilograms or pulling up to 500 kilograms.

The company has around 20 collaborative robots in its assembly area, helping perform tasks such as apply the lettering to the finished vehicles.

North America’s ongoing trend of production automation and keeping all manufacturing operations in-house puts it in the third position, with forecasted revenues of USD 6.19 billion by 2024.

Image credit: iStockphoto/PJ66431470