Study: the presence of robots increases


November 7, 2018 – The number of robots in 2017 increased in the professional and private sectors, according to the international report. In view of this, there were just under 110,000 and almost twice as many robots to service for professional use as in 2016. For industrial robots, a "new record of 381,000 units" was achieved.

Although "robo-consultants" are often used as a discussion topic, insurance robots are more important than "insurance items" if they are used in industry and today, sometimes in private homes.

According to the most recent "World Robotic Report" of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), around 109,500 "service robots" for professional use were sold in 2017 (+85% compared to 2016). For 2018 IFR expects 165,300 units sold.

Logistic systems are most demanding

The most required (2017) are logistics systems with 63 percent of sold units and 36 percent of sales value. In 2016, 69,000 logistics systems (+162 percent) were installed, including 6,700 drivers without transport systems in production environments and 62,200 outside the manufacturing sector.

Medical robots (about 2,900 units sold, +73 percent) also established themselves as robots "with high growth potential". The most important areas of application are: surgery or therapy and rehabilitation robot.

"We expect the professional service segment to accumulate approximately $ 46 billion in cumulative quantities (corresponding to EUR 40.3 billion;"Real Gudrun Litzenberger, Secretary General of the IFR.

Medical, logistic and field robots – the latter are mostly milking robots – are the main drivers of growth.

Increase robots in the private sphere

At the same time, according to the IFR, the number of privately used service robots, which supports people in daily life or serves entertainment, rose by a quarter to 8.5 million.

It is estimated that nearly 6.1 million robots have been sold for homework, such as sucking, mowing or window cleaning (+31 percent). However, the actual number could be significantly higher, as the IFR survey does not yet cover the entire area.

"Soil cleaning robots, robotic lawn mowers and robotics robots, which are increasingly called social robots, have become an increasingly important part of our lives," says study author Martin Hägele.

"The future product visions show domestic robots of greater complexity, performance and value, such as assistant robots who help the elderly, help with household work and entertainment," continued Hägele.

"New record" for the sale of industrial robots

From the IFR service robots, it distinguishes "industrial robots". According to data available to it, global sales in 2017 reached a "new record of 381,000 units" (+30 percent).

According to the IFR, the greatest demand for robots, with one third of all supplies, came from the automotive industry.

The share of the electric and electronics industry that was "caught" was almost the same. "The growing demand for electronic products and the growing demand for batteries, chips and displays."

The metal industry accounted for one tenth of the volume of sales.

High density robots in Europe

"This is the yearly sales of industrial robots in the last five years by 114 percent," and sales were up 21 percent to 16.2 billion dollars (or 14.2 billion euros) in comparison with 2016.

Overall, the number of industrial industrial robots increased by 15 percent to 2.1 million units in 2017 – from 2011, an average increase of 11 percent per year.

The global "robot density" in the manufacturing industry is estimated by the IFR to 85 units per 10,000 employees in 2017 (2016: 74 units). The robot density in Europe is above average with 106 units (Austria: 167); in America, on average, 91 and in Asia, 75 units.

Forecast: 3.8 million units 2021

"Industrial robots play a key role in the development of the manufacturing industry," said IFJ president Junji Tsuda.

"Robots develop with a number of state-of-the-art technologies, including industrial image processing, learning skills, artificial intelligence predictions, new concepts of collaboration with human machines, simple programming, and much more."

This will help to improve productivity of production and extend the scope of the robotic application, Tsuda expects. "According to the IFR forecast, the annual number of industrial robots delivered to factories around the world will reach approximately 630,000 units by 2021".

The total number of industrial robots announced by the IFR for 2021 is 3.8 million units.

More information

Further information and information on the methodology and database are available on the IFR website.

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