Cloud Robotics Applications Growth
Dr. Evangelo Damigos; PhD | Head of Digital Futures Research Desk
- Sustainable Growth and Tech trends
Publication | Update: Sep 2020
According to “A Comprehensive Survey of Recent Trends in CloudRobotics Architectures and Applications” by Olimpiya Saha and Prithviraj Dasgupta, cloud robotics has recently emerged as a collaborative technology between cloud computing and service robotics enabled through progress in wireless networking, large scale storage and communication technologies, and the ubiquitous presence of Internet resources over recent years.
Cloud computing empowers robots by offering them faster and more powerful computational capabilities through massively parallel computation and higher data storage facilities. It also offers access to open-source, big datasets and software, cooperative learning capabilities through knowledge-sharing, and human knowledge through crowdsourcing. The recent progress in cloud robotics has led to active research in this area spanning from the development of cloud robotics architectures to its varied applications in different domains.
According to ABI Research, the cloud robotics technology is split between vertical innovations, such as developing superior navigation systems, which increase the possibility of what robots can do, and horizontal innovations that expand access and scalability.
"Cloud computing represents the most important horizontal innovation for the robotics industry, to date, and will further enable vertical innovations like swarm-based intelligence, autonomous mobility, and advanced manipulation to be deployed at scale," says Rian Whitton, senior analyst at ABI Research.
Collaborative systems are not a revolution in robotics but are instead a parallel technology that has some advantages over traditional industrial arms, and some disadvantages, according to a new report from global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research.
Rian Whitton, senior analyst at ABI Research, says: “Since 2008, collaborative robots have been adopted at a feverish rate.
While there are significant limitations on current technology, the benefits of a more flexible and less expensive industrial-grade robot arm provide a great option for manufacturers who are struggling to invest high amounts of capital into comprehensive automation solutions.
While pure cobot providers have been flourishing, the industrial robot mainstays have yet to really capitalize on this opportunity, with their various cobot offerings being either too expensive or too complicated to operate to gain mass adoption.
ABI Research projects that collaborative robot arms to reach $ 5.8 billion in annual revenue by 2027, with billion of that dedicated to the automotive and automotive components manufacturing space.
There are additional sources of revenue related to software and End of Arm Tooling (EOAT), and ABI Research also notes that collaborative systems will increasingly become indistinguishable from conventional industrial robotic arms, potentially opening the market to a much higher valuation.
Challenges remain for the industry. There are well over 50 major collaborative robot providers, and in this highly saturated space, the lack of differentiation between products is a significant problem.
Whitton says: “Some providers emphasize the agility their seventh axis provides their arm, other focus on the intuitive controller and some focus on developing bots with higher payloads, but overall, hardware innovation has been limited and the current ecosystem is far too large to avoid consolidation over the next few years.”
According to ABI, the “most impressive provider” in this space is currently Universal Robots, which has very successfully shifted from a robotic arm supplier to a platform provider through their ecosystem incubator UR+, which is like an app shop for its robots.
This has helped provide clarity and a central robotic system that can be retrofitted with a wide plethora of vision systems, software applications, and EOAT.
While UR is innovating on the platform level, companies like Precise Automation and Productive Robotics are developing improved mechatronics which innovates collaborative systems from the ground up, making them safer and more cost-effective.
In the Asian market, Techman Robot of Taiwan and Doosan Robotics of Korea are making impressive gains in the electronics space, and Asia will soon surpass Europe as the key market for collaborative systems. Among the principal beneficiaries of this will be Chinese vendors like Siasun and Elephant Robotics, who are developing price-competitive products that will be open to a vast domestic market.
Overall, onlookers should not think of collaborative robotics as a replacement for industrial robots, but as a parallel technology development that will eventually converge. Innovations like advanced machine vision, improved localization, haptic sensors, and superior mechatronics are all allowing cobots to become faster without neglecting safety.
Strategic advances in 5G, cloud robotics, and edge-enabled AI will make the performance of multiple collaborative systems superior.
Whitton says: “This will gradually allow for the development of cobots that have the advantages of industrial robotic arms, while retaining the benefits of current collaborative systems, including ease of use, ROI, re-programmability, low footprint, and flexibility.”
According to David Deans, Technology Media Telecom analyst, due to security and regulatory compliance requirements, there will also be opportunities for the selective storage of robot data within on-premises IT data centers. Object storage technology can provide reliable and cost-effective solutions to the challenge of capturing and retrieving robotics data for analytics applications
Objectives and Study Scope
This study has assimilated knowledge and insight from business and subject-matter experts, and from a broad spectrum of market initiatives. Building on this research, the objectives of this market research report is to provide actionable intelligence on opportunities alongside the market size of various segments, as well as fact-based information on key factors influencing the market- growth drivers, industry-specific challenges and other critical issues in terms of detailed analysis and impact.
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The analysis reflects market size, latest trends, growth drivers, threats, opportunities, as well as key market segments. The study addresses market dynamics in several geographic segments along with market analysis for the current market environment and future scenario over the forecast period.
The report also segments the market into various categories based on the product, end user, application, type, and region.
The report also studies various growth drivers and restraints impacting the market, plus a comprehensive market and vendor landscape in addition to a SWOT analysis of the key players. This analysis also examines the competitive landscape within each market. Market factors are assessed by examining barriers to entry and market opportunities. Strategies adopted by key players including recent developments, new product launches, merger and acquisitions, and other insightful updates are provided.
Research Process & Methodology
We leverage extensive primary research, our contact database, knowledge of companies and industry relationships, patent and academic journal searches, and Institutes and University associate links to frame a strong visibility in the markets and technologies we cover.
We draw on available data sources and methods to profile developments. We use computerised data mining methods and analytical techniques, including cluster and regression modelling, to identify patterns from publicly available online information on enterprise web sites.
Historical, qualitative and quantitative information is obtained principally from confidential and proprietary sources, professional network, annual reports, investor relationship presentations, and expert interviews, about key factors, such as recent trends in industry performance and identify factors underlying those trends - drivers, restraints, opportunities, and challenges influencing the growth of the market, for both, the supply and demand sides.
In addition to our own desk research, various secondary sources, such as Hoovers, Dun & Bradstreet, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Statista, are referred to identify key players in the industry, supply chain and market size, percentage shares, splits, and breakdowns into segments and subsegments with respect to individual growth trends, prospects, and contribution to the total market.
Research Portfolio Sources:
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M&A and Risk Management | Regulation
The future outlook “forecast” is based on a set of statistical methods such as regression analysis, industry specific drivers as well as analyst evaluations, as well as analysis of the trends that influence economic outcomes and business decision making.
The Global Economic Model is covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure. We aim update our market forecast to include the latest market developments and trends.
Review of independent forecasts for the main macroeconomic variables by the following organizations provide a holistic overview of the range of alternative opinions:
As a result, the reported forecasts derive from different forecasters and may not represent the view of any one forecaster over the whole of the forecast period. These projections provide an indication of what is, in our view most likely to happen, not what it will definitely happen.
Short- and medium-term forecasts are based on a “demand-side” forecasting framework, under the assumption that supply adjusts to meet demand either directly through changes in output or through the depletion of inventories.
Long-term projections rely on a supply-side framework, in which output is determined by the availability of labour and capital equipment and the growth in productivity.
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Our market segments reflect major categories and subcategories of the global market, followed by an analysis of statistical data covering national spending and international trade relations and patterns. Market values reflect revenues paid by the final customer / end user to vendors and service providers either directly or through distribution channels, excluding VAT. Local currencies are converted to USD using the yearly average exchange rates of local currencies to the USD for the respective year as provided by the IMF World Economic Outlook Database.
Industry Life Cycle Market Phase
Market phase is determined using factors in the Industry Life Cycle model. The adapted market phase definitions are as follows:
The Global Economic Model
The Global Economic Model brings together macroeconomic and sectoral forecasts for quantifying the key relationships.
The model is a hybrid statistical model that uses macroeconomic variables and inter-industry linkages to forecast sectoral output. The model is used to forecast not just output, but prices, wages, employment and investment. The principal variables driving the industry model are the components of final demand, which directly or indirectly determine the demand facing each industry. However, other macroeconomic assumptions — in particular exchange rates, as well as world commodity prices — also enter into the equation, as well as other industry specific factors that have been or are expected to impact.
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The principal explanatory variable in each industry’s output equation is the Total Demand variable, encompassing exogenous macroeconomic assumptions, consumer spending and investment, and intermediate demand for goods and services by sectors of the economy for use as inputs in the production of their own goods and services.
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The individual characteristics of a good or service will have an impact, but there are also a number of general factors that will typically affect the sensitivity of demand, such as the availability of substitutes, whereby the elasticity is typically higher the greater the number of available substitutes, as consumers can easily switch between different products.
The degree of necessity. Luxury products and habit forming ones, typically have a higher elasticity.
Proportion of the budget consumed by the item. Products that consume a large portion of the consumer’s budget tend to have greater elasticity.
Elasticities tend to be greater over the long run because consumers have more time to adjust their behaviour.
Finally, if the product or service is an input into a final product then the price elasticity will depend on the price elasticity of the final product, its cost share in the production costs, and the availability of substitutes for that good or service.
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