Rise of the robots
By Ebrahim Moolla, November 16, 2020
5 minute read
The coronavirus pandemic has devastated many businesses, but many of those in the robotics industry have never been busier. The pandemic is propelling an increase in companies’ use of technology, according to both official statistics and business surveys. The automation and digitalization industry is one of the few to thrive amid the 2020 turbulence and both trade and output volumes have remained resilient in the face of a downward trend in global trade.
At present, the main robotic technologies fall under collaborative robots, robotic exoskeletons, warehouse and logistics robots division, but robotics technology has been undergoing major growth in recent years. Industries across the business spectrum are harnessing robotics, against the introduction of Industry 4.0 and smart factories, for a variety of applications.
Adoption continues at pace
According to a recent survey of business executives by McKinsey, changes in digital and technology adoption are taking place about 25 times faster than before the pandemic, with the focus shifting from cost cutting to gaining a competitive advantage.
The global robotics market size is projected to be worth around $66.50 billion by 2027 and the market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent from 2020 to 2027. From 2020 to 2022 almost 2 million new units of industrial robots are expected to be installed in factories around the world. These figures mark the sector as one of the fastest-growing in the volatile global economic climate.
Simplification, collaboration and digitalization are key drivers that will benefit robot implementation. Programming and installation of robots become much easier, as machine learning tools further enable robots to learn by trial-and-error or by video demonstration and self-optimize their movements.
Another important trend in robotics, human-robot collaboration will enable modern robotic systems to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. It is a joint effort that combines the strength and speed of industrial robots with the creativity and ingenuity of humans.
Exciting industry developments
Central to Industry 4.0, industrial robots’ ability to communicate with each other regardless of the manufacturer is of paramount importance. This cloud-backed connectivity is also the precursor to new business models such as Robots-as-a-Service.
New developments in the industry have allowed both individuals and larger corporations to perform certain tasks in a much more efficient way. As the sector continues to evolve, expect to see more exciting innovations.
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