Occupational Health & Safety

A new report predicts a global market for service bots will reach $38.42 billion within five years.

Report Predicts Rise of the Machines, Especially in Service Industries

The planet still has a long way to go before it will start to resemble the animated world of "The Jetsons," but robotic technology has witnessed a sea change over the years, with the need to automate the workforce resulting in numerous incremental technology advancements in industrial robotics.

According to a new report from San Jose, Calif.-based Global Industry Analysts Inc., the market maturity in industrial robotics is helping re-direct development interest in service robotics such as field robots, logistic system robots, medical robots, home security and surveillance robots, handicap assistance robots, underwater robots, entertainment robots, construction and demolition robots, inspection and maintenance robots, defense, security and surveillance robots, and domestic robots, among others. Service robots have therefore finally started to move from shop floors to homes, offices, hospitals, museums, and other public places in many forms, says the study, titled "Service Robotics: A Global Market Report," which predicts a world market of $38.42 billion for service bots by 2015.

Over the last decade, there has been an impressive growth in the use of service bots in professional as well as private and personal applications, with significant growth particularly in the private use of robots in homes for domestic applications, the report notes.

According to the report, the world market for service robotics has witnessed deceleration in growth over the last two years, and the euphoric projections over the number of robots expected to proliferate in human homes, offices, and factories are now being downgraded to much more sober levels, thanks to the impact of the prolonged economic slowdown. Reduction in investments as a fallout of the economic crisis has severely dented the demand for robots in both commercial and mass markets. The deep reductions in disposable spending have impacted demand for entertainment robots such as robot toys and pets. However, a quick recovery and robust future potential is definitely in the cards for the service robotics market, the report says, and service robots stand positioned to gain "stellar prominence as a potential productivity tool" in an era in which most of the first-world nations transition toward a global service industry.

Expanding application possibilities continue to broaden the market for service robotics as an aging population and increasing need for assisted living creates special market opportunities for personal service robots. The transition of the world’s developed economies toward being a service economy offers ample opportunities for growth in service robots market, the report says. Given their ability to offer a technological platform for supporting the growing needs of the professional services industry and thus triggering strong economic growth in the process, service robotics is slated to witness considerable opportunities in the years to come.

Shortages and the exorbitantly high cost of labor for risky jobs such as mining, skyscraper construction, and rescue operations, among others, present a perfect opportunity for service robots to replace human personnel, the report says.

Examining the Service Robotics market as a whole, the report says the Professional Use Robots market makes up the largest segment in the industry by value while the Personal Use Robots market (Domestic Robots and Entertainment Robots) represents the fastest growing segment in terms of value. Personal Use Robots is also the largest market segment in the service robotics market, by volume.

The report explores market trends and issues, examining recent industry activity and providing profiles of the major players currently dominating the global service robotics market. These key companies include Electrolux Group, Fujitsu Frontech Limited, Husqvarna AB, Hanool Robotics Corp, Honda Motors Co. Ltd, Iberobotics S.L., iRobot Corporation, Intuitive Surgical Inc, LG Electronics Inc, PARO Robots U.S. Inc, RoboSoft SA, SeaRobotics Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, and WowWee Group Limited, among others. The study also provides market estimates and projections for service robotics in terms of annual dollar sales and year-end operational stock volume in thousand unit increments for the different product market segments.

For more details, visit www.strategyr.com/Service_Robotics_Market_Report.asp.

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