The future is here: Service robotics will change our lives

The future is here: Service robotics will change our lives

Ten major segments of the service robot market are believed to hold great market potential looking at the next ten years. These include floor cleaning robots, robot lawn mowers, milking robots, telepresence robots, surgical robots, automated guided vehicles, autonomous mobile robots, unmanned aerial vehicles as well as humanoid, assistant and social companion robots. The installed base of service robots in these segments reached 29.6 million worldwide at the end of 2016. The largest segment in terms of installed base is the floor cleaning robot segment, which alone accounted for 80 percent of the total at the end of 2016 with an estimated global installed base of 23.8 million units. The other two large segments include the UAV segment as well as the robot lawn mower segment, which are estimated to have had around 4.0 and 1.6 million units installed respectively at the end of 2016. Moreover, 0.1 million AGVs and 0.05 million milking robots are estimated to have been active worldwide at the end of 2016. The remaining segments including humanoid robots, assistant robots and companion robots, telepresence robots, powered human exoskeletons, surgical robots and autonomous mobile robots are all estimated to have had less than 50,000 units installed each at the end of 2016. The strong market growth is expected to last for years to come, driving the number of active service robots worldwide to 264.3 million by 2026, which corresponds to CAGR of 24 percent between 2016 and 2026.

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Short range connectivity technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are the most commonly used connectivity choices in service robots today. Berg Insight estimates that 18.5 percent of all service robots at the end of 2016 featured some short range connectivity technology. Additionally, Berg Insight estimates that there were 63,000 cellular connected service robots active at the end of 2016, which only represents 0.2 percent of the global installed base. Cellular connectivity technology is today most commonly used by telepresence robots as well as by exoskeletons. It is estimated that 30.1 percent of all telepresence robots that were active at the end of 2016 featured cellular connectivity. This figure is estimated to be 15.0 percent for exoskeletons. Additional segments that featured cellular connectivity to some extent include the humanoid, assistant and social companion robot segment and the robot lawn mower segment. Berg Insight forecasts that 88.3 percent of all service robots active in 2026 will feature some kind of short-range connectivity. The corresponding percentage for cellular connectivity is forecasted to be 13.9 percent equal to 36.8 million units.