ABI Research has identified collaborative robotics as one of the fastest growing segments of robotic systems. Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMBs) are driving the increased demand for collaborative robots, as cobots provide solutions that allow for a more flexible kind of manufacturing that makes no assumptions as to volume levels or types of products being manufactured. From 2016 to 2025, the global revenue of collaborative robotics shipments is set to enjoy a compound average growth rate of 49.8%, compared to 12.1% for Industrial robots and 23.2% for commercial robotics.
The term ‘collaborative’ refers to human scale systems that can share a workspace with humans, interact with humans while also moving independently from them, and can physically contact their co-workers safely. This opens the value of robotics, including strength, precision, and repeatability to a series of tasks that previously their bulk prohibited.
The collaborative robotics market is still young, with global revenues reaching about US$292 million in 2017. However, by 2025, that figure is set to exceed US$1.23 billion in global revenue, and hundreds of thousands of shipments. This is being driven by demand for manufacturing solutions that don’t include large-scale investment in fixed automation or larger robotic arms. These include tasks like machine-tending, quality control, and light assembly. The manufacturing sector is the current mainstay of collaborative robotics; SMBs within the manufacturing sector will be responsible for the explosive cobot growth going forward.
Geographically, by far the largest market for collaborative robotics will be the Asia-Pacific region, with a projected 68% market share of shipments by 2025. Europe and North America will host 30% of shipments in the same year. The most successful vendor has so far been collaborative robot specialist Universal, based in Denmark. Other early movers like U.S.-based Rethink Robotics have accrued some fame, but after a slow start, the large industrial familiars, including ABB, Kuka, and Yaskawa, have recently developed new co-bots.
For more information, call ABI Research at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, or +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific.