In a recent article, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) points out that spending on robots worldwide is expected to grow from $15 billion in 2010 to $67 billion in 2025. The $52 billion increase in 15 years is a compounded annual growth rate of 10%. They attribute this growth to a convergence of falling hardware prices, performance improvements, and easier application software combined with increased flexibility and finesse. This results in robots being useful in a much broader set of applications than you might traditionally think of – such as automotive assembly and welding.
In fact, there’s an interesting graph you should take a look at that splits worldwide spending on robots into four categories: military, industrial, commercial, and personal. In 2015, BCG estimates about $11.0B in spending is for 1.2 million industrial robots, of which 40% (~ $4.4B) are used in automobile factories.
However, robots are moving from manufacturing cars to driving them (think Google). The rest of the industrial segment ($6.6B) and the commercial segment (at $5.9 billion) include a wide range of new applications. Robots are moving into medical, surgical, agricultural, construction, e-commerce fulfillment, and material handling applications.
To profit from the robotic megatrend, BCG encourages managers and executives to identify:
1) Areas of operations with high labor costs – where robot can produce cost savings
2) Tasks that people can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t do – that may lead to injury
3) Human skill gaps – such as real-time analysis, super speed or strength
4) Mission-critical applications – that demand exceptional precision, flexibility, or speed
5) High complexity – of changing supply chains with vast supplier networks
The good news is, Universal Robotics sells the “brain” for robots, with its product called Neocortex, which allows flexible human-like behavior to solve these problems. Check us out: Universal Robotics.