The global cobots market in 2020 was around $785m and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 27.6% during the forecast period to reach $2.31billion in 2026. The entire robotics industry is witnessing the effects of Covid-19 pandemic, with strain felt on the supply chain restricting parts imports and equipment exports in H1 especially. The overall economic uncertainty also pushed majority of customers to defer purchases in order to conserve capital. In 2020, the majority market share was held by Automotive sector with 23% share, followed by Healthcare industry with 16% revenue share. E-Commerce industry is rising at global level of retail and logistics. As a result, growing number of e-commerce companies look forward to automate warehouses. Warehouse robots play a key role in e-commerce industry for various applications such as automated storage and retrieval, picking and placing, order fulfillment operations and many others.

Adoption of warehouse cobots by e-commerce companies helps in reducing operational and logistical costs and save on delivery time. This has been increasing automation in warehouses in order to deliver goods to shoppers in faster and more efficient ways by increasing productivity of supply chain. In developed countries such as the U.S., and Canada, Grocery retailers are focusing on deploying robots that bring the shelf stacks to human workers, who pick out the right products and package them up to be sent out. These robots travel with high speed, faster than humans, thereby increasing efficiency of the work. In 2019, Amazon had introduced new warehouse cobots in several of its U.S. warehouses that scan and pack items to be sent to customers. It has started using robots in warehouses, which scans goods coming down a conveyor belt raising the scope of adoption. In the U.S., there had been significant growth in number of warehouses of Amazon from 2016-2018. Number of warehouses had increased from 92 to 141 which is 53.26% growth had been recorded during 2016-2018. Growing number of warehouses is set to create opportunities for deployment of cobots in warehouses, thereby driving the market.

There are several companies that are too young to be challenging the dominant parties in the cobot market but are developing new and disruptive technologies that will allow them rise to prominence in the years to come. Productive Robotics is a California-based developer which an arm with inbuilt vision, 7 axes for superior flexibility, long reach, and a very affordable price point, but has yet to deploy at scale. Automata, a British company that develops a ‘desk-top’ cobot costing less than $7,000, and is significantly lowering the barriers to entry for smaller actors and is championing the use of open-source middleware like ROS to program cobots for industrial use-cases. Germany-based Franka Emika and Chinese-American provider Aubo Robotics also represent relatively new entrants to the market who are building on the success of Universal Robots and are beginning to compete with them.

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Cobot Market Growth Drivers:

Increasing trend of online retail shopping enlarging the scope of warehouse robotics in the retail and E-commerce industries 

In the current scenario, the third-party logistics providers, manufacturing companies, and independent warehouse operators are significantly dependent on efficient warehouses to withstand in the competitive marketplace. The growing e-commerce industry is also setting up the need for reliable warehouse operations since manpower is limited, e-commerce giants are now relying on cobots to run the space and perform work tirelessly, thereby propelling the growth of the collaborative robotics market. Additionally, the active venture capitalists funds, coupled with the increase in the adoption rate of collaborative robotics especially by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are contributing for the increment in the E-commerce industry share of collaborative robotics market during the forecast period. Warehouse cobots are simple to install and train to meet the needs of the business. The software is easy to program, allowing businesses to get cobots up and running in a few short weeks. Warehouse cobots save warehouses money by enhancing the extent of human labor required to operate their facilities. Cobots aren’t a replacement for human workers; instead, they augment the work of associates to boost productivity. For example, cobots like Chuck by 6 River Systems leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize tasks and plan the most efficient picking routes in real-time, eliminating unnecessary walking. By making logistics processes more efficient, you’ll free up your associates to focus on more complex tasks.

The Major Players in this Market Include

Major players in Cobot include ABB Ltd. Fanuc, Kuka, Yaskawa, Kawasaki, Staubli, Rethink Robotics, Universal Robots, Techman and AUBO. , in 2019, FANUC Corporation has expanded its new robotics and automation facility in in Auburn Hills, Michigan. During the same year, ABB Ltd has stated construction of its new robotics manufacturing facility in China. Development of new products, software and expansion of manufacturing facilities in different countries set to drive cobots market.

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