groceryrobotsimberobotoics100627596orig

New markets push strong growth in robotics industry

The robotics industry, spurred on by demand in new markets and increasing labor costs, is expected to show strong growth through the rest of the decade, according to analyst firm IDC.

Worldwide spending on robotics, as well as related services, is expected to jump from a $71 billion market in 2015 to $135.4 billion in 2019, IDC said.

"Robotics is one of the core technologies that is enabling significant change in manufacturing through factory-of-the-future initiatives,” said Jing Bing Zhang, a research director at IDC. “While traditionally used in the automotive industry, there is an increasing adoption of robotics in sectors like electronics, retail, healthcare, logistics, agriculture, services, education and government."

He added that broad-based growth in robotic adoption is being driven by increasing labor costs, a shortage of skilled labor, and a growing emphasis on repeatable quality, along with a drop in prices of robotic systems.

Audi, a German automobile manufacturer, has been testing telepresence robots in 68 U.S. dealerships to enable mechanics to more quickly and easily get help on tough repairs.

The test has gone so well that Audi is planning to have telepresence robots – made by Cambridge, Mass.-based Vecna Technologies – in all of its 292 U.S. dealerships by the end of this year.

Audi isn’t the only company using Vecna’s VGo robots. They’re also being used to interact with patients at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. JetBlue, similarly, is using them for customer service.

Healthcare, according to IDC’s report, is increasingly turning to robotics.

The healthcare industry is only behind manufacturing and the resource industries, such as petro chemicals, aluminum and farming, in global robotics spending.

"Robotics, as a technology, has really reached its tipping point," said John Santagate, an analyst with IDC Manufacturing Insights. "Robotic capabilities continue to expand, while increasing investment in robot development is driving competition and helping to bring down the costs associated with robots."

IDG Insider

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« Apple vs. the FBI: The legal arguments in a nutshell

NEXT ARTICLE

Intuit to close sale of Quicken by April 30 »
author_image
IDG News Service

The IDG News Service is the world's leading daily source of global IT news, commentary and editorial resources. The News Service distributes content to IDG's more than 300 IT publications in more than 60 countries.

  • Mail

Recommended for You

International Women's Day: We've come a long way, but there's still an awfully long way to go

Charlotte Trueman takes a diverse look at today’s tech landscape.

Trump's trade war and the FANG bubble: Good news for Latin America?

Lewis Page gets down to business across global tech

20 Red-Hot, Pre-IPO companies to watch in 2019 B2B tech - Part 1

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Poll

Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?