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Big growth in inspection robotics

10 October 2019

It is often not recognised that the second largest market sector for service robots is for inspection and maintenance, according to the 2019 World Robotics Report – Service Robots, released by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). The sector accounted for 39% (106,000 units) of all sales in 2018. This category covers a wide range of robots from rather low-priced standard units to expensive custom solutions.

“The sales forecast for 2019 indicates a cumulative volume of around $12.6 billion for the professional service robot segment”, says IFR General Secretary Susanne Bieller. “The European and American regions both have a market share of about 45%. American companies are very strong in logistic systems whereas European companies dominate in the field of medical robotics. European and Asian companies mainly produce field robots.”

The total number of professional service robots sold in 2018 rose by 61% to more than 271,000 units, up from roughly 168,000 in 2017. Sales of medical robots increased by 50% to 5,100 units and account for 31% of the total sales value of the professional service robots. 

Sales of agricultural robots used for applications such as the automation of crop farming and horticulture, are expected to grow strongly by an average of some 50% per year. By 2022, sales are expected to reach 2,400 units.