IDC’s 10 forecasts for robotics in 2018

In its prospective study FutureScape 2018, IDC looked at the adoption of robotics by companies. From their projections, it will be remembered that by 2019, the rate of adoption of robotics by industrialists will increase by a third, so that 60% of the world’s largest companies will be equipped. The productivity race will push them towards more “intelligent” robots as well as more mobile and versatile robots.

The announced marriage of industrial robotics and artificial intelligence

Robotics growth rates are not expected to weaken in the coming years. This is what IDC analysts think and this growth will be driven by industry, a traditional robotics market, but also by new markets, especially in the world of distribution and security.

Among the key evolutions of the industrial robot market, industrial robots will gain in intelligence, integrating predictive functions, self-diagnosis but also shared learning and autonomous recognition. In addition, analysts predict the arrival of robotic agents that will coordinate the action of all robots and thus increase their overall effectiveness. The expected productivity gain would reach 30% better. On the other hand, these coming months will see the emergence of mobile robots that are truly modular and therefore potentially exploitable in several processes, according to the needs, which will constitute a significant progress compared to the current robotics where it is very expensive to move a robot from one workstation to another. The productivity gains expected from these mobile robots would be around 30%.

New sectors of activity focus on the productivity gains brought by robots

Finally, the analyses point to the upcoming explosion of the security robots market. The turnover of what is today only a tiny niche market is expected to grow by 300% by 2020. We could see the arrival of robots launching drones very soon. Another rapidly growing market is the market for robots dedicated to the world of distribution. The logistics of players such as Amazon and Alibaba now rely on tens of thousands of robots and this trend is expected to become widespread. The reduction in the cost of shipping a product would be around 20% thanks to this robotization, which should lead many distributors to equip themselves. IDC estimates that 30% of the Top100 distributors will be equipped by 2020. The analysis cites a billion dollars of robotics spending in sectors that do not yet use robotics, such as the energy sector (Oil&Gas and coal mining).

Finally, in order to accompany this wave of major equipment in companies, Robot as a Service (Raas) offers should appear. 45% of mobile robot deployments in companies will be carried out on such a rental mode by the year 2121.

Source : “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Robotics 2018 Predictions”, IDC, october 2017

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