Market Research Report
New Robotics and Drones 2018-2038: Technologies, Forecasts, Players
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|New Robotics and Drones 2018-2038: Technologies, Forecasts, Players|
|Published: February 20, 2018||Content info: 329 Slides||
New Robotics and Drones 2018-2038: Technologies, Forecasts, Players
Industrial, collaborative, surgical and 3D printing robots; autonomous robotic cleaners, robotic lawn mowers, retail and security robots, agricultural robots, logistics, drones, and beyond.
Robots are becoming uncaged, mobile, collaborative and increasingly intelligent and dexterous, moving beyond their traditional strongholds to bring automation to previously inaccessible tasks. In this report, we provide a global, comprehensive, and detailed assessment of the robotics and drones technologies and markets.
Our report is unique in its depth and breadth. It covers both existing as well as emerging applications. Indeed, it provides twenty-year forecasts in value and unit numbers for 46 categories, painting a comprehensive and quantitative picture of this major transformation.
Furthermore, this report provides detailed technology analysis, assessing the trends in performance and price of key enabling hardware and software technologies whilst considering likely technology development roadmaps. We will also profile the key companies and innovative entities working on new robotics and drones.
This figure shows our market forecasts for 46 categories from 2018 to 2038, covering the short, medium and long terms. The world of robotics and drones is changing. Industrial robotic arms have entered a growth supercycle thanks to the rise of automation in China. This trend- with some ups and downs- will shape the short- to medium-term future of this market. The robotic arm technology will also continue, at pace, its penetration into new markets driven by the spread of collaborative, surgical and milking robotic arms. This is however only a part of the picture. In parallel to traditional robots, a new class of robots are emerging that are collaborative, mobile and increasingly intelligent. These new robots and drones will grow in prominence in the medium-term whilst coming to dominate the market in the long-term. It is thanks to these new robots and drones- which will transform many industries ranging from agricultural to logistics to material handling to cleaning to retail and beyond- that the overall market will grow by a factor of nearly 3 and 7 in the next 10 and 20 years, respectively. Note that we have excluded passenger-carrying autonomous vehicles from our forecasts. This could arguably also be part of the greater mobile robotic market and would of course elevate the market significantly within our forecast timeframe. Note that in this report we have also taken the long (20-year) view since our technology roadmap suggests that many applications will make an impact only in the longer term. For actual values email us or consult this report.
Robotic arms have come a long way since they were first introduced in 1951. Today, rows of industrial robotic arms help automate tasks and boost productivity in many industries including automotive, electronic, chemical production, food processing and so on. In this report, we first examine the different types of industrial arms, assessing the merits of DELTA, SCARA, articulated and Cartesian types.
We then demonstrate how the market for industrial robotic arms has evolved in the past twenty years, tracing the historical market development in annual unit numbers and value (robotic arm and total system value). Here, we look at market segmentation by application and territory.
We highlight the fact that the spending on robotic technologies has tended to be cyclic in the past, whilst in recent years the rise of Chinese automation demand has pushed the market into a growth super-cycle. We show that China is already the largest purchaser of robotic arms in absolute terms even though it still has a below-average robotic density. This, together with the fact that China's working population has already peaked, suggest that there is significant room for growth.
To develop our long-term projections, we model the future behaviour of China on the historical behaviour of Japan. Indeed, we demonstrate that the rise of automation in China since 2008 closely mirrors developments in Japan when it started to rapidly automate from 1976 onwards. We model the behaviour of the rest of world on the long-term growth patterns of the past. This enables us to develop short-, medium- and long-term projections for the market for industrial robotic arms, in unit numbers as well as in market value.
Traditional robotic arms are caged, operating in robot-only zones. This is changing with the emergence of collaborative robotic arms. These are a new breed that enables various degrees of human-robot interactions. They are often smaller and slower and are equipped with various sensors such as torque sensors and soft paddings to ensure safe collaboration. These arms are also often lower priced than industrial ones. These mean that they are fast opening automation opportunities to small- to medium-sized business and are enabling numerous applications in which humans and robots collaborate.
In this report, we show how, following the success of early pioneers, the number of suppliers and types of collaborative arms on the market has multiplied. We then benchmark the different arms on the market in terms of price and performance, detailing degree-of-freedom, speed, weight, reach, precision, ease of programming and so on. We then highlight several key existing and emerging applications for such robotic arms before assessing the various types of collaboration, the various forms of safety measures, and the status of the legislation and standards regulating the deployment of collaborative robotic arms. Finally, we provide our short- as well as long-term market projections.
Surgical robotic arms are already a major success story. These robots are being deployed to enable remote-controlled surgeries, offering more stable tool movements and helping extend the useful life of surgeons. The market today is dominated by a single player making healthy margins on sales of equipment as well as services and instruments.
The market is however seeking to challenge this dominance whilst at the same time expanding the use of robots to new types of surgeries and spreading the market into new geographical territories. Multiple well-capitalised new companies have been formed, and some have passed various regulatory approvals. The scene is therefore set for increased market share competition as well as a rush to open new uses and territories.
In this report, we will consider the current and future use of surgical robotic arms. We then highlight and assess the incumbent as well as emerging players. Finally, we provide our short-term as well as long-term market forecasts.
The world of robotics is changing. The figure shows the market share of old vs. new robotics at different time snapshots, showing how the market is set to evolve in the future: new robotics will come to represent the market majority despite continued growth of existing applications. For the purposes of constructing this figure, old or traditional robotics includes robotic arms (industrial for China and RoW, surgical, 3D printing, milking, etc), AGVs and AGCs, autonomous tractors (level 3 and 4), consumer drones, and robotic cleaners (dry/wet for home, commercial, pool, etc) and lawn mowers. New robotics cover all the other categories included in this report. See the legend of the figure below for a full listing. In the rest of this page we will describe each section in more detail.
This figure shows the share of old vs new robotics at different time snapshots, showing how the market is set to evolve in the future. Note that we have excluded passenger-carrying autonomous vehicles from our forecasts. For more details email us or consult the report
In this report, we will analyse the key hardware and software enabling technologies that are making the emerging new robotics commercially viable. On the hardware side, we will consider performance and cost trends in computing, memory technologies, energy storage, electric motors, cameras, MEMS, GPS, and so on.
We will then consider the key developments in software and artificial intelligence. In particular, we will briefly describe the importance for RoS (robotic operating system) in lowering development costs, explain the various types of deep learning and highlight key milestones/achievements of deep learning in facial recognition, text recognition and reading, translation, speech, grasping and so on. We will also explore the role of big data in enabling such progress.
This is a crucial chapter as it explains why new robotics is being commercialized now.
Autonomous mobile robots are finding numerous applications in both indoor and outdoor environments. Indeed, as the media remains fixated on the ultimate prize of autonomous mobility on general roads, we find that autonomous robots are fast being commercialized in numerous other environments which are more structured and/or offer more clearly-defined commercial purposes straightaway.
Autonomous personal vacuum cleaner robots are one success story. In fact, they are not even a new technology having been around since the early 1990s and having sold well more than 20M units thus far. In this report, we will analyse the market, demonstrating that we are entering into the market proliferation and commoditization phase. The number of companies is multiplying, with many seeking to challenge the market leader's dominance in its strong territories whilst leaping across it in emerging Asian territories. New entrants are adopting low cost production whilst striking partnerships to develop global sales channels. IP blocking strategies are being deployed but these attempts will at best delay the inevitable sharing of the growing market pie by more firms.
In this report, we will benchmark different companies' market positioning in terms of performance (suction power, navigation technology, etc.) as well as price. We will show that despite technology maturity incremental improvements continue. In particular, more products are transitioning towards smart planned indoor navigation (vs. random movement) either using low-cost Lidars or visual SLAM, and more companies are offering connectivity in the hope of positioning the robot vacuum clear at the centre of the smart home ecosystem.
We will show in this report how robotic vacuum cleaning technology is evolving into new use cases. Large-sized cleaners are being offered, either as equipment or service, to commercial centres. Wet robotic cleaners are also being added to product portfolios to address needs for a wider variety of floor types. We will also profile key innovative players in home (dry and wet) and commercial vacuum cleaning and provide short- as well as long-term market projections in unit numbers and market value.
Finally, we will show examine non-floor robot cleaners, particularly highlighting pool and window cleaning. The latter is also a well-established market however the addressable market size is smaller. We will analyse the key companies, showing revenue growth trends in recent years and highlighting current market share standings. We will then highlight emerging market dynamics whilst providing short- as well as long-term market forecasts.
Lawn moving robots are also a major market opportunity. This technology is also not new with the first products having been introduced in 1995. These robots generally stay within their work space via magnetic sensing of current-carrying wires marking the boundaries. In this report, we will show how different products positions in terms of performance (coverage range, noise level, etc.) and price. We will also provide short- and long-term market forecasts.
The use of mobile robots is not limited to home or related environments. Indeed, today many mobile robots are entering many commercial spaces. In this section of the report we will particularly focus on two emerging applications: autonomous retail and security robots.
In retail environments, autonomous robots are being developed to automate stock taking, enabling companies to do the task faster, cheaper and more precisely. Some companies are focusing on RFID-based approaches, positioning themselves for the apparel or similar sectors that have significantly adopted RFID tagging. Others are working to develop visual inspection, making their products more suited to environments like supermarkets.
In this report, we will show the status of technology development, and will identify and profile the key firms across the globe in this sector. We will analyse the market, providing short- and long-term forecasts, in unit numbers and value, that reflect our technology progression roadmaps.
In security environments, autonomous robots are being developed to act as autonomous eyes-and-ears. These robots are often sensor-laden, carrying multiple visual and thermal cameras, gas sensors, two-way communication systems, and so on. This is in addition to all the on-board sensors needed to ensure safe autonomous mobility.
In general, these robots are being designed for outdoor or indoor uses. For the latter, aesthetic design will be a differentiator whilst for the former the ruggedness and all-weather operation will be key. Note that the navigation technology will also differ: in outdoor use cases, GPS signal is available but controlled lighting conditions less so, whilst for indoor use cases, there is no GPS but instead there is a better-known and structured environment for training the robot movement.
The market for security provision is large. The applications are also diverse covering data centres, utility and oil/gas centres, solar farms, shopping malls, offices, other forms of commercial property, plants, and so on.
In this report, we will identify and profile the key players, highlighting their business model (service vs robot sale), investment levels, product positioning, and so on. We will then analyse the market, offering our assessment of the technology readiness levels whilst providing short-as well as long-term market forecasts for indoor and outdoor autonomous security robots (in units and value).
Today, agricultural implements predominantly perform a purely mechanical functional. There are some notable exceptions, particularly in organic farming. Here, implements are equipped with simple row-following vision technology, enabling them to actively and precisely follow rows.
In this report, we will show that robotic implements become highly intelligent and computerized. These will enable advanced computer vision, opening new approaches to site- (or plant-) specific ultra-precision agriculture with far reaching long-term consequences for the agrochemical industry.
This report will demonstrate how agriculture is already the leading adaptor of autonomous mobility technology. Here, we will analyse the evolution of autonomous mobility in agriculture, showing the incremental evolution of autonomous tractors from level three, four, and ultimately five.
We will then demonstrate that how the rise of unmanned mobility is giving rise to a new breed of agricultural vehicles: fleets of small unmanned, slow, and lightweight robots. These robots will be less productive on a per unit basis than traditional vehicles. The key to success however lies in remotely-controlled fleet operation which is enabled by the absence of a driver per vehicle.
We then assess the latest developments in robotic vegetable and fresh fruit harvesting. A limited number of fresh strawberry harvesters are already being commercially trialled, and some are transitioning into commercial mode. Progress in fruit picking in orchards has been however slower given the high technical complexity. This is however beginning to change, albeit slowly.
Robotics in dairy farms is already a major industry: thousands of robotic milking parlours have already been installed worldwide. This industry will continue its growth as productivity is established. Mobile robots are also already penetrating dairy farms, helping automate tasks such as feed pushing or manure cleaning. In general, this is a major robotic market to which little attention is paid.
In this report, we will assess the readiness levels of different agricultural robotic technologies and profile key companies and innovators in the field. We will also provide detailed short- as well as long-term market forecasts for the following 12 categories: static milking robots, mobile dairy farm robotics, autonomous agricultural small robots (data scouts, weeding and multi-platform), autonomous tractors (simple guidance, autosteer, fully unmanned autonomy), robotic implements (simple and highly intelligent), robotic vegetable harvesting, and robotic fresh fruit picking.
Automated guided vehicles and carts (AGVs and AGCs) have long been deployed in industrial facilities, acting as rigid distributed conveyer belts and transporting goods weighing from several kilos to multiple tons. The rigidity of their navigation technology however has always kept them as a small subset of the greater automation.
In this report, we will show how navigation technology is transitioning from rigid and infrastructure-dependent to autonomous and infrastructure free. We will further show how this seemingly incremental evolution will enable the rise autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), pushing them not just to increasingly replace AGVs but in time to also diffuse beyond the structured confines of warehouses and factories.
The rise of e-commerce is pushing the adoption of robotic technology in warehouses. In particular, grid-based goods-to-person AGVs have been a major success story, helping boost the productivity of warehouses. Here, the success and the subsequent acquisition of the pioneering firm has spawned the formation and funding of many similar firms around the globe, including in India and China. These firms offer similar grid-based AGCs for shuttling the special totes around warehouses together with the crucial fleet management software. This sector will boom in the coming years.
This report will show that the rise of navigational autonomy will induce a significant transfer of value from wage bills paid for human-provided driving services towards spending on autonomous forklifts. This will fuel significant growth over a business-as-usual scenario. Our technology roadmap suggests that this change will not happen overnight, however. Indeed, our model suggests that autonomous forklifts, for example, will remain a tiny share of the global addressable market until around 2023 but soon after will enter the rapid growth phase.
The short- and long-term forecasts in this report cover automated guided vehicles/carts; autonomous industrial forklifts, autonomous mobile carts, and autonomous mobile picking robots. Our forecasts are in unit numbers and market value.
Last mile delivery remains an expensive affair in the parcel delivery business, often representing more than half of the total cost. Autonomous mobile robots are seeking to address this issue. Today, they are currently small slow-moving units that will need to frequently return to base to charge. They often need close supervision and can only operate in sparsely-populated and highly-structured environments such as university campuses or special neighbourhoods. They therefore are unproductive and easy to dismiss as gimmicks.
This is however only the beginning of the beginning. In this report we will demonstrate that the costs are falling, and the robots will emerge from their current trial and learning phase better adept at path planning and at object avoidance. The increased autonomous mobility capability and the lower cost will in turn enable a lower operator-to-fleet-size ratio, furthering boosting overall fleet productivity. Here, as with many other mobile robots, it is the fleet (vs individual unit) productivity that matters.
In this report, we will cover key firms working on commercializing last mile delivery robots (either as service or robot). We will then produce short- and long-term market forecasts, clearly explaining the different phases of evolution from trial/early commercial sales toward rapid market penetration and finally towards maturity and then revenue decline.
Robots and autonomous mobility are also impacting other steps of the delivery chain. In our report we will also consider the current progress and the future of autonomous long-haul trucks as well as light delivery vans.
Overall, this report provides short- as well as long-term forecasts, in unit numbers and value, for last mile delivery robots, autonomous trucks (level 3 to 5), and light delivery vans (levels 3 to 5).
Drones, until just a few years ago, were synonymous with military UAVs. These were large gasoline powered entities capable of running surveillance missions and firing weapons. This has all changed since 2012 onwards. Now we consider drones as essentially flying cameras in the hands of consumers. This too is changing as prosumer and professional drones are born out of consumer ones.
In our report, we will show that the drone hardware platform market has in recent years become highly commoditized due to aggressive pricing strategies that have prioritized market share over margin. The falling prices have forced many competitors to announce major lay-offs, exit or re-focus. Despite this, many are still vying to be the number two.
The trend has introduced a major change in the investment trends. In our report, we will show that investment, as well as company formation trends, peaked at 2015. More importantly, we will show that the focus of the investment has shifted from hardware to non-hardware aspects.
Indeed, the hardware platform commoditization on the consumer end has caused the market to focus on the software, analytics and enterprise segments.
We will provide detailed profiles of the key hardware and software firms working on drones and related components. We will benchmark the price and performance (battery size, range, size, etc.) for drones covering the spectrum from toys to professional drones.
The report also provides detailed year-on-year investment figures, segmenting it by hardware vs. non-hardware. We will focus on key emerging software trends and opportunities and highlight specialized hardware opportunities such as sensors. It then considers the evolution of the legislation whilst highlight some trends towards BVLS autonomous mobility.
In our application assessment, we focus on two major emerging commercial use cases: agricultural and logistics/delivery. Finally, we provide short- as well as long-term market forecasts covering consumer as well as professional drones.
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