According to a U.S. government study, advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have opened up new markets and new opportunities for progress in critical areas of the American economy. In recent years, robots have surpassed humans in the performance of certain tasks related to intelligence.
Although it is unlikely that robots will exhibit superior intelligence to that of humans in the next 20 years, it is to be expected that they will continue to reach and exceed human performance on certain types of tasks. It's inevitable, more robots will enter the workplace.
Robotics Sector Market Development
Worldwide spending on robotics and related services will more than double by 2020, growing from $91.5 billion in 2016 to more than $188 billion in 2020, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).
"The market for robotics continues to experience tremendous growth," said John Santagate, research manager at IDC. "This growth is really fueled by a combination of technology improvements, expanded use cases, and acceptance in the market."
More than half of all robotics spending comes from the manufacturing with Discrete Manufacturing delivering 31 percent and Process Manufacturing providing 28 percent of the worldwide total in 2016.
This situation will remain relatively unchanged throughout the forecast with the two industries investing nearly $110 million in robotics in 2020. The leading robotics use case in Discrete Manufacturing is assembly, welding and painting, while mixing is the leading use case in Process Manufacturing.
After manufacturing, the three industries with the largest robotics spending in 2016 were Resource Industries ($8.0 billion), Consumer ($6.5 billion), and Healthcare ($4.5 billion). These industries will maintain their relative positions throughout the forecast.
Cross Industry robotics spending, which represents use cases common to all industries, such as warehouse pick and pack, will also rank among the top segments throughout the five-year forecast.
Outlook for High-Growth Robotics Tech
From a technology perspective, purchases of robotics systems -- which includes consumer, industrial, and service robots -- and after-market robotic hardware will total more than $40 billion in 2016.
Services-related spending, which encompasses applications management, education & training, hardware deployment, systems integration, and consulting, will come to more than $20 billion in 2016.
Perhaps the most insightful finding from this global market study, the fastest growing segments of robotics spending are drones and after-market drone hardware, which will grow to nearly $20 billion in 2020.