Despite the frightening, almost Terminator-esque, way the phrase “there are robots everywhere” might sound, this is a helpful and important change in production around the world. Industrial robots have seen steady growth across the globe since 2016 and are projected to keep growing until 2027. Following this increasing demand for robots, the price per unit is expected to grow consistently as production tries to keep up with demand. Price increases are expected to be modest in comparison to the considerable cost of a robotics unit. The prevalence of industrial robots is particularly high in countries with strong automotive and electronics sectors, namely Japan, China, South Korea, Germany, and the United States. The main drivers of this growing demand are the falling costs of industrial robots and rising wages in China as well as newly emerging markets, which will encourage companies based in industrialized countries to move production back to domestic shores.
Different types of robots
The most deployed types of robots in the manufacturing sector include gantry robots, which move along a single axis, and SCARA robots, which are capable of moving along three axes. Among the newest types of robots, both exoskeletons and collaborative robots are designed to work in close proximity to humans. While exoskeletons are attached to human bodies to give wearers increased strength, allowing them to carry heavy loads, collaborative robots share a workspace with human workers and help them with tasks that are better suited for robots, such as assembly or quality inspection.
Robots industrializing the home
This is not as ominous as it might sound simply because it is expected that domestic tasks will in all likelihood be increasingly automated in the coming years. Robots of all shapes and sizes will play a part there. This category of robots is called service robots and has been growing considerably in use and installation for the last few years. These range from the small but popular robot vacuum cleaners, that many already own, to the exotic and futuristic-looking bipedal robots popularized in science fiction. This latter category has become more realistic as of early 2023 with the unveiling of Tesla’s robot in late 2022 and with the development of bipedal robots by Boston Dynamics in cooperation with the United States military.
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Research expert covering technology in the Nordics, AI and smart cities