The next service robots are already AI systems
Sales and turnover figures for service robotics continue to show quick growth. Experts predict significant annual growth of up to 35% over the coming years until 2020.27 Nov 2017 Marie-Lucine Tapyuli
Industrial service robots such as driverless transport systems are the bestsellers when it comes to professional sector applications. According to figures from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) for 2016, the latter as well as the security, agriculture, medicine and public relations sectors increased by 24%. Total turnover grew by 2% to reach 4.7 billion US dollars.
The mechanical helpers are still particularly popular for private use. Almost two-thirds of the devices are vacuuming and wiping robots or lawnmowers, and there are also entertainment and leisure robots. Turnover increased by 15% to reach 2.6 billion US dollars.
In the fields of agriculture, building and construction Europe was the leading supplier of service robotics in 2016, with a share of almost 90%; the same can be said for underwater systems (67%) and security applications (53%). When it comes to medical robotics, Europe (52%) shares the market with the USA (46%).
By 2020, the IFR expects a growth rate for professional sector service robots of between 20% and 25% (turnover: 19 billion US dollars), while the private use of robots is expected to grow by as much as 30% to 35%, with an expected turnover of 11.3 billion US dollars. At this time, if IDC forecasts are correct, 45% of new industrial robots will feature at least one AI function (predictive analytics, self-diagnostics, peer learning, etc.).
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