AI and ML-Powered Solutions to Expand Application Scope of Cobots
Increasing adoption among both small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as large enterprises are expected to propel the US$343.7 million colloborative robots (cobot) market towards US$4.25 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 65.4 percent.
Machine tending, especially in SMEs, was the largest application area for cobots, accounting for 27 percent of all cobot deployments in 2018. Other applications such as assembly and quality inspection are expected to close the gap with machine tending as awareness about cobots improves across industrial sectors.
“The market for cobot accessories such as 3D-vision systems, cable management systems, metrology sensors, end-of-arm coupling tools are forecast to experience rapid innovation and growth,” said Nancy Wang, Consultant, Industrial Automation & Process Control, Asia-Pacific at Frost & Sullivan.
“Partnerships with local OEMs and acquisition of start-ups involved in the development of end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) software will be especially important for expanding cobot capabilities,” she added.
Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Asia-Pacific Collaborative Robots Market, Forecast to 2023, offers a comprehensive analysis of the opportunities and challenges that cobot OEMs encounter in the market. It identifies the countries and end-user industries that are expected to see the highest cobot growth. It also studies the application scope of cobots as well as its common distribution channels.
“Cobots that enable the seamless integration of new third-party hardware and software will be preferred by EOAT makers, software developers, system integrators (SIs), and distributors,” noted Wang.
“The market is dominated by Universal Robots (UR), which generated $118.8 million in 2018, or 34.6 percent of the total market revenues. This market share positioning, however, is expected to change over the next three to five years as local companies enter the market with relatively inexpensive offerings,” she added.
The governments of China, Japan, and South Korea are investing significantly in AI and ML. Manufacturers will be looking to make the most of these growth opportunities as well as those offered by:
- Tailoring safe, flexible, and easy-to-program cobot solutions to SMEs.
- Identifying and acquiring EOAT makers or enablers developing universal end effectors for multi-purpose usage across applications and cobot brands.
- Executing alliance strategies that focus on IT/OT convergence.
- Improving the cognitive function of their systems so they may evolve into Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) providers.
- Exploring new features that can be embedded in cobots catering to the warehouse and logistics application.
- Developing a cobot’s vision, grasp, motion control, and data analytics ability through AI and ML.
Asia-Pacific Collaborative Robots Market, Forecast to 2023 is part of Frost & Sullivan’s global Industrial Automation & Process Control Growth Partnership Service program.