It is estimated that 800 million individuals will be displaced by 2025, with robotics playing a key part in disrupting several sectors.
Robotics and automation have often been used interchangeably, but these terms certainly have differences. Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with design, construction, operation and application of robots and is tipped to disrupt several industries in the next decade.
Here’s a look at the five major industries robotics will disrupt with innovation in the near future. The industries were picked from a combination of reports from various research firms that predict the growth of robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. The industries mentioned below are listed on the basis of their growth during the forecast period.
A report from Markets and Markets suggests that the agricultural robots market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 34.5 percent, rising from US$4.6 billion in 2020 to US$20.3 billion in 2025.
Driverless tractors are expected to see the highest growth in this sector. However, hardware components will hold the largest share of agricultural robots segment with drones and internet of things (IOT) sensing and monitoring systems leading the way.
Agriculture was also mentioned by other firms as one of the areas where robotics and automation will have an real impact in changing the industry. Robotiq noted 10 ways robotics is transforming agriculture, which included nursery planting, crop seeding, crop monitoring, fertilizing and irrigation.
“Traditional farming methods struggle to keep up with the efficiencies required by the market. Farmers in developed countries are suffering from a lack of workforce,” Robotiq explained. “The rise of automated farming is an attempt to solve these problems by using robotics and advanced sensing.”
Robotic applications in the medical field include robot assisted surgery or therapy. A Markets and Markets report said the medical robots market is expected to reach US$22.1 billion by 2027, up from an estimated value of US$6.46 billion in 2018 and growing at a CAGR of 14.6 percent.
The advantages of robot-assisted rehabilitation therapy, increasing funding for medical robot research and advancements in medical robot technology are seen as the main drivers of this projected growth.
The firm suggested that the neurosurgery segment will register the fastest growth during the forecast period, while the therapeutic robotics segment has the highest projected CAGR.
“Increasing precision and improved quality” of medical robots were picked as the driving factors behind the growth of this segment.
While robots are largely designed for work, robots are also for play. Market Research Future said that technological advancements for entertainment robots with higher AI will be a crucial factor as this market is tipped to reach US$20 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 21 percent.
The firm said that the animatronic robots will entertain people at festivals and parks. These robots are built with microphones and are designed to identify faces and obstacles.
Entertainment robots can be classified as either robotic toys, educational robots and companion pets. The educational robots have been pre-programmed to answer and to perform specific questions while users could also further program them for specific tasks like dance moves.
Robots as romantic partners is also a growing trend, especially in the time of coronavirus lockdowns. “In tandem with a historic rise in mental health problems brought on by COVID-19, sales of sex robots have skyrocketed,” according to Forbes. Realbotix CEO Matt McMullen told Forbes magazine that sales of his company’s sex robot have shot up[ 75 percent from before the pandemic.
Robotics are increasingly being put to use in the military and defense sector. Research and Markets said that the rising number of terrorist activities across the globe has paved the way for unmanned military systems. The global military robots market is expected to reach US$221.7 billion by 2027.
“As of now, the United States military remains the largest user of these robots, however, countries like China and Russia are investing billions in robotics research and development that will allow them to narrow the gap with the US,” according to Research and Markets.
From the automobile industry to the electronics industry, robots are helping to increase efficiencies on the factory floor. Markets and Markets reports that the industrial robotics market is forecasted to grow from US$48.7 billion in 2019 to US$75.6 billion in 2024.
“Technological advancements and decreasing costs are making industrial robots more affordable to [small and mid-size enterprises] SMEs and are enabling seamless integration and programming,” stated the report.
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) noted three major industries where robotics is making a real impact in the industrials sector. The firm noted that the automotive industry is the largest adopter of robots (33 percent of total industrial robots in 2017), owing to the fact that the manufacturing of passenger cars has become complex. The electronics industry is not far behind in its adoption of robots at 32 percent. The last industrial sector noted by IFR is the metals industry, which had a market share of 10 percent of total supply for 2017.
The growing focus on R&D for advanced sensors and the integration of AI is expected to have a big impact on the market going forward. “Moreover, the growing funding by venture capitalists for the manufacturing and designing of industrial robots will foster the healthy growth of the market in the foreseeable future,” according to Fortune Business Insights.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bala Yogesh, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.