The global collaborative robot market was valued at USD 668.3 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 1,876.8 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 18.37%, during 2021-2026. Collaborative robots, or cobots, are used in direct collaboration with humans to accomplish various tasks. The declining cost and the high return on investment offered by the robots are expected to impact the market positively.
- The industries using robots face constant pressure to reduce operating costs while increasing productivity and maintaining the required quality levels. For instance, in March 2020, Yaskawa launched the HC20XP Human-Collaborative Robot. It features precise hand-guided teaching for the fast implementation of a robot system. The new 20 kg payload collaborative robot is suited for applications where the robots are needed to work with or in close proximity to humans safely. The industry's first IP67-rated collaborative robot is equipped for continuous use in damp or splash-prone environments.
- The collaborative robots in the market are also becoming more affordable, easier to use, and less complex for training purposes. This will primarily offer multiple options to organizations, which will increase the drive and the demand for these robots. Collaborative robots enable industries of all sizes and scales to stay competitive as these robots use the latest sensors, plug-and-play technologies, and automatic robot programming from CAD data.
- Companies are adopting these robots to increase efficiency in their process. For instance, Tomenson Machine Works adopted automation for its pin stamping application primarily to improve profitability, quality, and worker satisfaction. The company adopted an OnRobot RG6 gripper and Universal Robots UR3 cobot arm, which can handle dozens of part sizes and is being used for potential applications such as deburring, machine tending, and packaging.
- Furthermore, vendors in the market are also active in mergers and acquisitions. For instance, in Apr 2020, HAHN Group, an automation firm, acquired DAHL Automation, a robotics integrator that focuses on collaborative robot arms. With this acquisition, the company will expand its presence in intralogistics and autonomous mobile robots.
- As the world is continuously fighting the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, robotics and automation are playing a very crucial role in helping to safeguard the people and in processing the supplies that people need as they are shifting towards remote working and home learning. The robots are helping in disinfecting the hospitals. Autonomous deliveries from the robots are bringing the supplies to people as they are adopting social distancing. Moreover, automated workstations are speeding up the work of pharmaceutical companies.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand for Automation in Various Industrial Processes will Drive the Market
- Automation solutions can drive down the cost of deliveries dramatically. Supported by this are the robot innovations that are taking place, allowing the enterprises in various industries to operate autonomously, with augmented human capability and capacity.
- Longer training and onboarding, increasing benefits and compensation rates, and labor shortages are significant factors driving the deployment. More and more warehousing, distribution, and fulfillment facilities are investing in automated solutions. As technology improves and the applications become wider and more flexible, robotics is being adopted by a more significant number of manufacturing operations across regions.
- Robots play a crucial role in industrial automation, with many core operations in industries being managed by them. Robots can take up complicated, repetitive tasks with accuracy, even in hazardous environments. For this very reason, they have been employed in manufacturing units across most industries. According to a study by UiPath, over 88% of organizations believe that automation will accelerate human achievement and be effective when it complements humans.
- Industrial robots used in the automotive industry are more efficient and utilized cost-effectively due to their new speed, accuracy, precision, flexibility, and agility. The complexity of manufacturing passenger cars has increased over the past ten years. This has led to automation solutions robots' usage for a substantial proportion of the production processes these days.
North America to Hold a Significant Market Share
- The North American region is among the leading innovators and pioneers in terms of the adoption of robotics and is one of the largest markets. The primary reason for the growth of the market is the increasing adoption of these collaborative robots across numerous industries.
- Moreover, there has been significant adoption of robotic surgery in the United States. The annual procedure volume for robotic surgery is greater than 5,00,000 in the United States. In order to build brand image and competitive advantage, robotic surgery has become the most rapidly adopted medical device over the past two decades. This is likely to fuel the need for robots in the medical and healthcare sector in the region.
- The primary driver for the growth of robots in the region is the manufacturing industries in the United States that are currently under the ongoing trend to automate their production processes to strengthen the US industries in domestic and international markets.
- The government in the region is also encouraging the adoption of robotics by taking initiatives to support the development of modern technologies in the robotics market. For instance, the US Federal Government has commenced a program called the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) to bolster the capabilities of building domestic robots in the country and encourage research activities in the field.
- The increasing investments by the National Science Foundation (NSF) are also augmenting the collaborative robot market in the region. To support novel technologies like robotics, the NSF invested USD 700,000 to USD 1 million in 21 projects in three-year durations. The NSF program proliferates collaborations with industries to assess lab-created technologies.
The collaborative robot market is moderately competitive, and companies focus on innovation to remain competitive in the market. Furthermore, acquisitions and collaboration of large companies with startups are expected. Some of the recent developments in the market are:
- March 2021- OMRON Industrial Automation Europe signed a distribution agreement with OnRobot, a Danish manufacturer of collaborative robot applications. This will allow OMRON to offer OnRobot's products, wholly integrated with the OMRON TM cobot, to customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).
- May 2021- Epson Robots announced the launch of its first virtual expo, Automate Boldly, a virtual experience that will provide manufacturers with a broad range of factory automation solutions through informative keynote presentations, technology sessions, and product demonstrations.
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