We used to dream about robots, write novels about robots, and make movies about robots. Now, robots are real—and showing up at home, in hospitals, in factories, and more. The seeds of this trend can be seen in Kickstarter where campaigns bringing a variety of robotic technologies to market have invited a groundswell of support.
The total world robot market has reached $12.3 billion. Better still, there's no end for growth in sight. Global robot demand will rise 10.5% annually through 2016 to $20.2 billion, according to recent figures from the Freedonia Group. The United States, Japan, Germany, China, and South Korea, will continue to dominate, with the U.S. staying in the top spot as the largest national market. “Smaller, less expensive service robots will outpace more sophisticated, high-value industrial and medical robots,” the report said.
Although the home is a key market, robots are also transforming other sectors. The market for rehabilitation robots, which accounted for a mere $221.4 million in 2015, is expected grow dramatically to reach $1.1 billion by 2022, market research firm ReportsWeb estimated. Industrial robots, meanwhile, will also be integrated into the business landscape as well. The industrial robotics market is expected to grow at CAGR of 11.92% between 2016 and 2022, and reach $79.58 billion by 2022, MarketsandMarkets reported.
“It is encouraging to see so many new companies adopting robotics for use in their operations,” said Jeff Burnstein, President of Robotic Industries Association (RIA) in a written statement. “Companies of all sizes are realizing that robots are more affordable than ever before and can help them increase their productivity to remain competitive in today's global economy.”
Industry use, over and above automotive industry, soared in the first quarter of 2016, the group reported. Robots ordered by the semiconductor and electronics (90%) and food and consumer goods (82%) grew substantially over 2015. While istill the largest industry in terms of robotics volume , orders to the automotive industry grew only one percent in the first quarter of 2016.
There's no easier way to witness the phenomenon than by taking a look at popular Kickstarter projects. A quick glance offers a plethora of options, from educational toys to robots that will take over boring household chores, help makers create products faster, or even mix up cocktails. it shows that we want to buy robots for ourselves, and we definitely want to support all those budding engineers out there with cool tech playthings. These projects make it clear that we have a shared goal in the electronics industry: Robots for everybody. And it's a worldwide trend: Many of the top projects originated in the Silicon Valley, but Europe and China were well represented as well. All exceeded their funding goals. One company (Makeblok) even got two products on the list.
Click on the image below to start a slideshow looking at the biggest funding wins for robotics projects on Kickstarter:
Take a look and let us know which projects you like best. Where in your world would you like to see robotics taking on tasks? What business, logistics, and supply chain uses are gong to take the lead in the next few years? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN