In a shared, cooperative workspace, collaborative robots are a type of robotic automation designed to function securely alongside human employees. In most cases, a collaborative robot is in charge of difficult, repetitive duties while a human employee handles trickier, more mentally taxing jobs. Collaborative robots' precision, dependability, and repetition are intended to supplement a human worker's intelligence and problem-solving abilities.
The designs of collaborative robots are very different from those of industrial robots. Collaborative robots are primarily made for safety, which is why they have rounded edges, force limits, and low weights. The majority of collaborative robots have a number of sensors to prevent accidents with human employees and safety processes to shut down if any kind of unforeseen interaction takes place.
The potential uses of robotic automation are substantially increased by its capacity for teamwork with humans. As more and more sectors see the potential benefits of this technology, the market for collaborative robots is going to grow at an exponential rate.
Collaborative robots will be a fascinating field to watch as it emerges as a dominant type of robotic automation, with significant commercial potential in a variety of sectors both within and outside the industrial environment.
The Market for Collaborative Robots
Robotic teams are positioned for rapid growth. According to Interact Analysis, the industry had a value of about $400 million in 2017, but by the end of 2018 it will have increased by 60% to $600 million. The market is anticipated to reach $7.5 billion in value by 2027, accounting for 29% of the whole industrial robot industry. This quick growth is merely the beginning.
The collaborative robot market is anticipated to expand significantly year after year, with no indication of slowing down, fast gaining a larger part of the robotics industry as a whole. This increase has been caused by a number of different factors, such as:
- Shortage of qualified workers
- Increasing labour costs
- Higher product mixes with shorter cycle times
- Greater need for flexibility in automation
- Stricter demands for faster ROI and profitability
Collaborative robots have become more common among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) during the past few years. Collaborative robots were typically preferred by SMBs due to their reduced startup costs, noticeably smaller size, and capacity to provide ROI in small batch scenarios. This is set to change, though, as major OEMs expect to start deploying collaborative robots in significant numbers, driving both near- and long-term market expansion.
The automotive and electronics sectors are going to get collaborative robots the most out of these key OEMs. Each has a reputation for being a production automation innovation, and it is probable that they will do the same with collaborative robots. Collaborative robots are ideally suited to these applications because of their more flexibility than industrial robots, which are ideal for the electronics sector in particular because of its high degree of part variation and quick cycle times.
Currently, a select few big manufacturers control the majority of the collaborative robotics industry. A number of smaller robot producers, primarily from Asia, will likely enter the market as a disruptive force in the upcoming years. Major industrial robot producers are also starting to introduce collaborative robot solutions, which likewise promises to upend the status quo. More firms will enter the market as the commercial potential for collaborative robots becomes apparent, raising competition and bringing down prices.