The year ahead in robotics

The year ahead in robotics

Increased demand for new applications in healthcare and the production of personal protective equipment are expected to boost sales of robotics in industrial and service sectors in the next few years, according to the World Robotics Report 2020 published by the International Federation of Robotics, a Frankfurt-based trade organisation that tracks robot market data globally.

As the world waits for an effective vaccine to stamp out COVID-19, manufacturers may contemplate increasing automation in their lines to ensure their production is more resilient to world events and macroeconomic shocks. Continual technological advancement will also increase ROI on robot installations.

Annual installations of industrial robots in 15 largest markets, 2019
Operational stock by industry

Robot advantages

  • Resilience in production amidst challenges such as pandemics.
  • Dull, dirty, dangerous, or delicate tasks may be shunned by human workers.
  • Modern robots have smaller carbon footprints.

Robot disadvantages

  • Lack of standard programming platforms make it difficult to teach robots new tasks.
  • Limited or no possibility of retrofits to add new features.
  • Initial investment may be substantial.

Use of robots will accelerate because …

  • Cloud platforms and 5G provide technological infrastructure.
  • Robot-as-a-service leasing models increase affordability.
  • Human-robot collaborative applications enhance traditional robotics.