The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) forecasts huge growth in the demand for service robots following a record-breaking 2017.
Sales in service robots for professional use will increase 12% by the end of 2017 to a new height of $5.2bn, with an annual growth rate of 20-25% expected for the following three years.
Gudrun Litzenberger, General Secretary of the IFR, added: “In terms of value, the sales forecast 2018-2020 indicates a cumulative volume of around $27bn for the professional service segment. Robots for medical, logistics and field services are the most significant contributors.”
The IFR also noted an increase in demand for personal service robots which cater to household tasks. This market could hit $11bn during the 2018-2020 period.
In terms of regional significance, Europe will lead the way in terms of service robot creation. Around 290 out of the 700 registered companies supplying service robots come from Europe. North America ranks second with about 240 manufacturers and Asia third with roughly 130.
Martin Hägele, IFR Service Robot Group, said: “Robots are clearly on the rise, in manufacturing and increasingly in everyday environments. The growing interest in service robotics is partly due to the variety and number of new start-ups which currently account for 29% of all robot companies. Furthermore, large companies are increasingly investing in robotics, often through the acquisition of startups.”