Also commonly referred to as “Cobots” for short, collaborative robots are intended for direct human robot interaction within a shared space, or where humans and robots are in close proximity. Having said that, they’re far more versatile than a traditional industrial robot – meaning that they can handle a variety of advanced tasks ranging from equipment maintenance, inspection, material handling, welding, and more.
Indeed, material handling is one of the most important jobs that collaborative robots are often responsible for – due in large part to the fact that this is one of the most difficult (not to mention dangerous) jobs in manufacturing to begin with. By automating as many of these important-yet-menial tasks as possible, organizational leaders go a long way towards creating a safer environment for workers and freeing up as much of those workers’ valuable time as possible so they can focus on the things that truly need their attention.
Based on this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that collaborative robot markets are becoming more popular all the time.
Collaborative Robot Markets: Your Overview
According to one recent study, global revenue generated by the collaborative robot market hit roughly $373.3 million in 2017. That number is impressive, but it’s nothing compared to the $9.7 billion number the market is predicted to hit by as soon as the end of 2025, according to the same source outlined above.
Of course, the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed just about everything you can think of pretty significantly – and collaborative robot markets were certainly no exception. Due to a downturn in the global economy that particularly affected the Asian market, collaborative robots saw negative growth for the first time in the market’s history. During that time, it was down 11.3% in revenue and 5.7% in shipments. Much of this had to do with factory shutdowns and a general reduction in demand around the world.
However, the collaborative robot market is already on the mend and is expected to enjoy a growth of nearly 20% in 2021. That will allow it to be its market size for the entirety of 2019.
Industry experts agree that one of the major reasons why demand is on the rise has to do with the need for tasks that themselves require a higher payload capacity. Likewise, the ability of collaborative robots to work safely and productively with humans in a particular environment – something that is getting better all the time – has also lead to an increased adoption rate. Keep in mind that all collaborative robots are designed with sensors, advanced software and other features that help prevent them from accidentally injuring employees.
But one of the real reasons why adoption is on the rise has to do with the quick return on investment that collaborative robots have become known for. Then, once they’re on a factory floor, organizational leaders realize that they create an environment where innovation is essentially a foregone conclusion – which is very likely the most important benefit of all.
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