Future is Gearing Up to See Robotic Revolution

Applied Tech Review | Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) are driving robots into most aspects of daily life. The robotic revolution will accelerate by trust in technology, cost-effectiveness, and evidence generation.

FREMONT, CA: The robotics industry has experienced a significant transformation in the past year in development, adoption, funding, and mergers and acquisitions. Over the next decade, robotics will continue to grow rapidly.

Here are a few robotics trends to watch in the coming years.

Robotics investments are rising: In the medical, manufacturing, logistics, hospitality, and automotive sectors, investors continue to fund the latest robotics innovations. Investors in venture capital, private equity, and strategic investments have plenty of cash to take advantage of disruptive robotics technologies and direct their development. Disruptions in supply chains and labor shortages also fuel immediate demand. According to Fortune Business Insights, global industrial robot sales will reach $31.13 billion by 2028, up from $14.61 billion in 2020.

Intellectual Property Drives Robotics Innovations: The robotics industry relies heavily on patents, trade secrets, and other IPs. IP protection encourages companies to invest in R&D and offers additional tools to help innovative companies stay competitive. Robotics investors also value IP exclusivity since barriers to entry often translate into greater market share. Increasing valuations helps companies attract funding. IP protections also drive an increase in industry partnerships, reducing the risk of sharing valuable technology and allowing the parties to take advantage of exclusivity shields for background technology. Patent portfolios are helping robotics companies stand out from the competition. Strategic companies are also increasingly using design patents to protect the "look and feel" of robots and user interfaces and utility patent protection for "how it works."

Workplaces increasingly feature assistive robots and cobots: There are many tasks robots cannot perform as well as humans at this stage, which makes full automation prohibitively expensive. Humans and robots combine their strengths, so innovative companies seek solutions that leverage them.

Cobots (robots that work with humans) have also made it possible to replace boring, dangerous, or dirty jobs efficiently and safely. Cobots can sort and package goods easily and can easily integrate into existing operations. Manufacturing settings also leverage advanced imaging and sensor systems to perform robust quality control inspections. Cobots will account for 34% of all robot sales in North America by 2025, compared with 3% in 2017, as the use of industrial robots in factories doubled over the past five years.

Interoperability of robots: With robotics adoption becoming more widespread, robot-to-robot interoperability will be a priority, as well as cobot-to-cobot interoperability. Often companies source their robotic platforms from different developers, making it difficult to work together. This results in highly segmented operations, limiting efficiency gains. Robotic platforms will be interoperable via open architectures and standards as customers demand, similar to the computer and telecommunications industries.

Mitigating liability and preventing hacking: A cyber-attack on a robot could result in damage, disruption, and even bodily harm, so cybersecurity will remain a top concern for the robotics industry. Companies also realize the possibility of terrorist attacks, individuals sabotaging competitors, and even corporations. There are also liability concerns, which drive government and industry to head off evolving threats.

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