Ash has spent close to 20 years in technology research on several sectors, including industrial automation and smart manufacturing, smart home, solar power and energy storage, drones and robotics, medical technology and building automation. Ash is Senior Research Director for our robotics & warehouse automation research, amongst other topics.
Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) have been around for decades, but recently demand for them and the newer, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) has exploded. This market was worth just $1bn in 2017 but is forecast to hit $7bn in 2022 driven by increasing manufacturing automation, the growing e-commerce sector, mass personalization of goods and a shortage of low-cost labor.
- Mobile robot hardware revenues (for AGVs and AMRs) will surge from $1.1bn last year to over $7bn in 2022. This includes both outright sales and leasing revenues. Software will add another $3bn to this total.
- Deck-load robots are by far the most common and preferred, suiting a wider variety of functions. 180,000 deck-load mobile robots are forecast to be shipped in 2022. Robust growth is predicted for all form factors however.
- Mobile robots with mounted arms are an interesting concept and could be used to revolutionize warehouse picking and material handling. Yet very few have been shipped so far. This is predicted to change from 2020 onwards, with significant volumes being sold. In 2022, we predict more than 12,000 mobile robots with mounted arms will be shipped.
- Logistics is the fastest growing vertical for mobile robots. The proliferation of e-commerce and omni-channel retailing is driving huge demand for automation and retailers strive to catch up with Amazon and its delivery capabilities. We predict that AGV & AMR revenues will reach $3bn by 2022.
- Whilst AGVs and AMRs are used globally, the biggest drivers of growth will come from China and the US. This is perhaps not surprising given that these two countries are the largest manufacturing and logistics markets. Combined, we predict these two markets will grow from $600m last year to over $4bn in 2022.
- Automation is nothing new in manufacturing, having been pioneered by the automotive sector. Recently, however, there has been a major push to automating beyond production lines and to reduce manual material handling. Mobile robot revenues to this vertical are forecast to grow by nearly 75 percent this year and surpass $3bn in 2022.
- Mobile robots guided by LiDAR or cameras have emerged to be the preferred choice of mobile automation. Infrastructure-free AGVs/AMRs are forecast to account for three-quarters of all revenues over the next five years, up from just 40 percent last year.
- We’ve identified more than 75 vendors of mobile robots globally. Yet many of these are not (yet) making substantial revenues. The industry remains fragmented and the top 15 suppliers (shown below) captured just 60 percent of total revenues last year.
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The above analysis is taken from a new Interact Analysis report – “Mobile Robots – 2018“, an in-depth report on mobile robots used in material handling applications which was published last month. If you’d like to learn more about the report or have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org