Jan 29, 2016

Robot Progression

According to a research study by Tractica, annual shipments of consumer robots - a category that includes robotic vacuums, lawn mowers, and pool cleaners as well as social robots - will increase from 6.6 million units in 2015 to 31.2 million units worldwide by 2020 with a cumulative total of nearly 100 million consumer robots shipped during that period.

The fastest growth will occur in robotic personal assistants, a category that is nascent today. According to the report, "the next 5 years will set the stage for how these robots could fundamentally transform our homes and daily lives."

China, Japan, and South Korea are responsible for 40% of all new robot installations. China has more than 25% of all annual installations. The world market for robots grew 17% during 2015 and has had steady growth since 2009. Indications are that this growth rate will continue.

It used to be that the largest market for robotics was the United States. By 2014 China took over as the single largest market. During the past two years it had 50% annual growth in terms of new robot installations. China still has much below average installations of robots per capita. The maturity of a market is typically compared by number of robots installed per 10,000 workers in the manufacturing industry. Mature industries, such as automotive, will typically have 1 robot for every 10 workers.

South Korea has the most robots for manufacturing with 478 robots per 10,000 workers. Japan is second with 314 per 10,000 workers. Germany is at 292, USA is at 164. The world average is 87. China is currently at 36. Even with twice as many robots sold, China would still be below average in its use of robots.