Robotics industry growing faster than expected

The robotics market could reach $87 billion by 2025, thanks to explosive growth in the consumer sector.

July 07, 2017

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The robotics market could reach $87 billion by 2025, thanks to explosive growth in the consumer sector.

Commercial robotics demand is growing faster than military and industrial demand,
but it is not nearly as fast as consumer demand. Source: BCG

The robotics market is growing so fast these days, industry analysts can hardly keep up. The Boston Consulting Group is now projecting the global robotics market will reach $87 billion by 2025, which is $20 billion higher than estimated three years ago. Over the past few years, robotics has taken on new roles and shown more promise than expected.

A couple of the biggest trends driving demand are self-driving cars and smart homes. Falling prices are also making robotics more widely accessible. The potential in industrial and military settings has long been clear as robots have been taking over low-skilled, repetitive tasks for years. Now, consumers are helping drive a robotics boom and companies are investing in a future of automation.

The robotics industry has a new focus on consumer-facing applications. Household chores such as lawn mowing and vacuuming are favorites. Robotic vacuums have been one of the most widely used consumer robots. The market is not quite ready for more sophisticated tasks, but the money keeps pouring in as companies bet on the future. Home assistants are also becoming more common, and come equipped with sophisticated artificial intelligence courtesy of companies, including Amazon and Google. About 40 percent of new robotics companies since 2012 have been in the consumer sector, BCG reports.

A new crop of commercial applications for robotics is also aiding the increase in demand. These uses might include robots taking orders at restaurants or farmers using drones to survey land.

To survive in the robotics market, moving fast could be key. BCG points out that Amazon gained a first-mover advantage when it bought Kiva Systems in 2012, the maker of warehouse robots for which Amazon is now so well-known. The acquisition has allowed the internet retail giant to improve productivity through faster delivery times and lower costs. The example of Amazon likely serves as a constant reminder to other companies in the industry racing to gain some kind of edge in what is considered the next frontier in technology.

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