Cobots are set to take off
A new market report indicates strong and sustained growth for the collaborative robot industry.
In 2018, global revenues from cobot production exceeded USD550 million. This was almost a 60% increase over 2017, and over 19,000 cobots were shipped.
The report, The Collaborative Robot Market
, forecasts that revenues for cobots will reach USD5.6 billion in 2027, accounting for almost one third of the total robotics market. The bulk of the cobot market will be made up of units that carry less than 9 Kg.
In the next five years, the fastest-growing regions for collaborative robot shipments will be China and the USA.
Materials handling, assembly and pick & place will be the three biggest applications of collaborative robots. But these functions, which accounted for 75% of cobot revenues in 2018, will drop to below 70% of total revenues by 2023, as other functions for cobots are developed.
Labour shortages and the drive to improve efficiency mean that China will be the fastest-growing region for cobot shipments. The demand for simple, cost-effective, entry-level robots, together with different regulations surrounding industrial equipment in China, has fuelled the growth of Chinese cobot manufacturers who only supply their local market.
Maya Xiao, lead analyst on cobots for Interact Analysis, says: "The collaborative robot market is still relatively immature, but Interact Analysis has identified clear potential growth areas, both in industrial and non-industrial settings, enabling manufacturers to respond effectively, and take full advantage of what we predict to be an area which will occupy a significant marketshare in the coming years."