Spending on robotics to reach $97 bn in 2017, says IDC

RobotSpending on robotics — including drones and robotics-related hardware, software and services — will be $97.2 billion (+17.9 percent) in 2017, and $230.7 billion in 2021 with CAGR of 22.8 percent, said IDC.

“The convergence of robotics and artificial intelligence & machine learning are driving development of intelligent robots for industrial, commercial, and consumer applications,” said Jing Bing Zhang, research director, Robotics at IDC Manufacturing Insights.

IDC said robots with capabilities such as ease of use, self-diagnosis, zero downtime, learning and adaptation, and cognitive interaction are emerging and driving wider adoption of robotics in the manufacturing and resource industries and enabling new uses in healthcare, insurance, education, and retail.

The Discrete Manufacturing and Process Manufacturing industries will be spending $30.5 billion on robotics products and $24.1 billion on robotics services in 2017.

Combined, these two industries will account for more than half of all robotics spending throughout the forecast.

Mining, oil & gas extraction, and agriculture will be spending nearly $9 billion on robotics.

IDC said Education (71.9 percent CAGR), Retail (51.3 percent CAGR), Construction (38.3 percent CAGR), Wholesale (37.2 percent CAGR), and Insurance (36.3 percent CAGR) will be topping in robotics spending in terms of CAGR.

IDC said technology advancements in mobile robots and collaborative robots are opening up opportunities to deploy robots in new areas outside of the more traditional industrial manufacturing processes.

“While technology improvements are helping to fuel demand, the increased demand is incentivizing innovators in the field to invest in delivering robots that are capable of performing a wider range of tasks,” said John Santagate, research manager, Supply Chain at IDC Manufacturing Insights.

As the primary use case in the Discrete Manufacturing industry, assembly, welding and painting is forecast to receive nearly a quarter of all robotics spending.

The primary use case in the Process Manufacturing industry (mixing) will capture more than 15 percent of all robotics spending. Other robotics use cases that will drive spending include automated production – mining and pick and pack (Wholesale).

Break bulk (71.6 percent CAGR), educational assistance (68.3 percent CAGR), and delivery to customer (60.6 percent CAGR) are main use cases that will see the fastest growth in robotics spending.

More than half of all robotics spending this year ($50.7 billion) and throughout the forecast will go to robotics systems, after-market robotics hardware, and systems hardware.

Services-related spending, which encompasses applications management, education & training, hardware deployment, systems integration, and consulting, will total more than $24 billion in 2017. Spending on command and control, specific robotics applications, and network infrastructure software will reach $15.2 billion.

Purchases of drones and after-market drone hardware will be nearly $7.0 billion this year and represent the two fastest growing categories of robotics spending throughout the forecast, followed by education and training.

Asia Pacific region excluding Japan will account for more than half of all robotics spending in 2017 ($51.5 billion) and throughout the forecast.

Japan will be the second-largest region in 2017 ($14.3 billion), followed by the United States and Western Europe ($13.6 billion and $10.1 billion, respectively).

By the end of the forecast, however, the United States is forecast to move into the second position.

All four regions will be led by strong robotics spending by the discrete and process manufacturing industries.

Latin America (26.5 percent CAGR), APeJ (25.2 percent CAGR), and the United States (24.1 percent CAGR) will see the fastest growth over the five-year forecast.