An update to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Robotics and Drones Spending Guide forecasts worldwide spending on robotics and drones will total $103.1 billion in 2018, an increase of 22.1% over 2017. By 2021, IDC expects this spending will more than double to $218.4 billion with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) or 25.4%. Robotics spending will reach $94 billion in 2018 and will account for more than 90% of all spending throughout the 2017-2021 forecast.
Industrial robotic solutions will account for the largest share of robotics spending (more than 70%), followed by service robots and consumer robots. Discrete and process manufacturing will be the leading industries for robotics spending at more than $60 billion combined in 2018. The resource and healthcare industries will also make significant investments in robotics solutions this year. The retail and wholesale industries will see the fastest robotics spending growth over the forecast with CAGRs of 46.3% and 41.2%, respectively.
Worldwide drone spending will be $9 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at a faster rate than the overall market with a five-year CAGR of 29.8%. Enterprise drone solutions will deliver more than half of all drone spending throughout the forecast period with the balance coming from consumer drone solutions. Enterprise drones will increase its share of overall spending with a five-year CAGR of 36.6%. The utilities and construction industries will see the largest drone spending in 2018 ($912 million and $824 million, respectively), followed by the process and discrete manufacturing industries. The fastest growth in drone spending will come from the education (74.1% CAGR) and state/local government (70.5% CAGR) industries.
China will be the largest geographic market for robotics, delivering more than 30% of all robotics spending throughout the forecast, followed by the rest of Asia/Pacific (excluding China and Japan), the United States, and Japan. The United States will be the largest geographic market for drone spending at $4.3 billion in 2018, followed by Western Europe, China, and the rest of Asia/Pacific (excluding China and Japan). However, exceptionally strong spending growth in China (55.5% CAGR) and Asia/Pacific (excluding China and Japan) (62.0% CAGR) will move these two markets ahead of Western Europe by 2021.
The Worldwide Semiannual Robotics and Drones Spending Guide quantifies the robotics and drone opportunities from a region, industry, use case, and technology perspective. Spending data is available for more than 60 use cases across 20 industries in eight regions. Data is also available for 17 robotics systems technologies and 16 drone systems technologies. Unlike any other research in the industry, the detailed segmentation and timely, global data is designed to help suppliers targeting the market to identify market opportunities and execute an effective strategy. Run, jump, skip, rinse, spit, and learn more.