Collaborative Robots Predicted to Become Multi-Billion Dollar Market

Cobot market expected to grow at CAGR of 60 percent by 2022 according to new report.

Rethink Robotics Baxter caught coding. (Photo by Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA.)

Rethink Robotics Baxter caught coding. (Photo by Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA.)

If you have been paying attention to the trends in manufacturing lately, you’ll know by now what makes collaborative robots, or cobots, special.

To summarize for those who have been living under a CNC machine, cobots are robots designed to work in close proximity to humans due to their small size, ease of programming and sensing capabilities. Don’t even get me started on their application flexibility.

Despite these advantages, cobots are certainly not going to replace their conventional counterparts. However, they are directing the evolution of robotics into a safer, more connected technology.

It seems manufacturers globally are catching on, and the global cobot market is predicted to grow at a whopping CAGR of 60.04 percent between 2016 to 2022, according to a new report by MarketsandMarkets. This huge growth will propel the cobot market from its current value of USD$110 million up to $3.3 billion in only 6 years, driven primarily by an increase in investment for automation across industries, higher return on investment and the lowering price of cobots making them available to SMEs.

The cobot market is driven by applications in industries such as automotive, metal and machining, furniture and equipment, food and beverage and plastics and polymers, to name a few.

The automotive industry was credited for acquiring the largest share of the market in 2015, largely due to those safety features mentioned above. These reasons, as well as the precision cobots offer over human workers, are predicted to be the driving factors for the markets’ growth in North America and Europe.

For developing regions, such as the Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world (RoW), the rise of the cobot market is predicted to be driven by the rise in industrial automation.

By region, Europe was the largest market in 2015, followed by Asia-Pacific and North America. Expected increases in regulations related to safety standards in collaborative technology and a growing focus on safety sensors, mean that North America, Asia-Pacific and RoW are all expected to develop more potential growth opportunities.

Cobots in the Asia-Pacific region are even expected to surpass that of Europe by 2018, holding a large market share through at least 2022, according to the report. This is not a surprise, considering KUKA’s recent buyout by Chinese company Midea.

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