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Collaborative robots worldwide - statistics & facts

Industries are constantly looking for new technologies to lower production costs while improving the quality of their products and increasing productivity. The adoption of collaborative robots, or cobots, is one of the ways to achieve these goals. Driven by the trend of industrial automation, cobots are a fast-growing segment within the broader robotics market. Between 2017 and 2019, cobot installations worldwide grew by some 63 percent, from around 11,000 in 2017 to 18,000 in 2019. Most of the cobots sold in 2019 were purchased by the electronics and automotive industries.

Correspondingly, the global cobot market is expected to grow in revenue terms as well. Valued at some 600 million U.S. dollars in 2020, the market is projected to more than double in the coming years, reaching the size of 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2026.

Difference between industrial robots and cobots

Traditionally, a distinction is made between industrial robots and cobots. While industrial robots are mainly intended to work separated from humans, cobots are designed to directly interact with human employees in a shared workspace. Industrial robots tend to be big, heavy, and strong enough to lift objects weighing several hundred kilograms, making them a possible danger to humans. Industrial robots thus often operate behind a physical barrier, such as a fence or a cage.

Cobots, on the other hand, are specifically designed to perform tasks alongside or in cooperation with humans. Cobots rely on precision and flexibility instead of strength and are thus small in size with a low payload capacity. Moreover, cobots tend to have rounded edges which further minimizes any risk of injuring a human.

Major companies

Not surprisingly, some of the biggest cobot manufacturers are producing industrial robots as well. Companies such as Japan-based FANUC, Switzerland’s ABB, and Germany-based KUKA AG (since 2016 owned by China’s Midea Group) are all major players in the field of robot manufacturing, developing both cobots and industrial robots.

Specialized cobot producers include Taiwan-based Techman Robot, British-based Automata, Germany’s Franka Emika, or Denmark’s Universal Robots (acquired by U.S.-based automation vendor Teradyne in 2015).

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Collaborative robots worldwide" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

State of the industry

Industrial robots

Key Companies

Interesting statistics

In the following 3 chapters, you will quickly find the 23 most important statistics relating to "Collaborative robots worldwide".

Collaborative robots worldwide

Dossier on the topic

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Collaborative robots worldwide - statistics & facts

Industries are constantly looking for new technologies to lower production costs while improving the quality of their products and increasing productivity. The adoption of collaborative robots, or cobots, is one of the ways to achieve these goals. Driven by the trend of industrial automation, cobots are a fast-growing segment within the broader robotics market. Between 2017 and 2019, cobot installations worldwide grew by some 63 percent, from around 11,000 in 2017 to 18,000 in 2019. Most of the cobots sold in 2019 were purchased by the electronics and automotive industries.

Correspondingly, the global cobot market is expected to grow in revenue terms as well. Valued at some 600 million U.S. dollars in 2020, the market is projected to more than double in the coming years, reaching the size of 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2026.

Difference between industrial robots and cobots

Traditionally, a distinction is made between industrial robots and cobots. While industrial robots are mainly intended to work separated from humans, cobots are designed to directly interact with human employees in a shared workspace. Industrial robots tend to be big, heavy, and strong enough to lift objects weighing several hundred kilograms, making them a possible danger to humans. Industrial robots thus often operate behind a physical barrier, such as a fence or a cage.

Cobots, on the other hand, are specifically designed to perform tasks alongside or in cooperation with humans. Cobots rely on precision and flexibility instead of strength and are thus small in size with a low payload capacity. Moreover, cobots tend to have rounded edges which further minimizes any risk of injuring a human.

Major companies

Not surprisingly, some of the biggest cobot manufacturers are producing industrial robots as well. Companies such as Japan-based FANUC, Switzerland’s ABB, and Germany-based KUKA AG (since 2016 owned by China’s Midea Group) are all major players in the field of robot manufacturing, developing both cobots and industrial robots.

Specialized cobot producers include Taiwan-based Techman Robot, British-based Automata, Germany’s Franka Emika, or Denmark’s Universal Robots (acquired by U.S.-based automation vendor Teradyne in 2015).

Interesting statistics

In the following 3 chapters, you will quickly find the 23 most important statistics relating to "Collaborative robots worldwide".

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