When picturing a robot, an intimidating human-like figure might come to mind, but what if they could help businesses gain maximum benefit from their unmatched efficiency and power? Service robots are technological marvels proving to possess the enhanced capabilities of human labor, with fantastic flexibility and unmatched power, while always looking smart.
The most common of these service robots already popular in use are the ones working in logistical areas, such as in warehouses or airports, mostly in the form of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR). They allow for manual labor such as lifting, stacking, and other necessary tasks to be completed more efficiently and with more accuracy while providing a uniform aesthetic and, importantly, minimizing the safety risks that could accompany human labor in these places.
The popularity of AGVs and AMRs has increased greatly since COVID-19, where businesses strived for contactless work and transportation, something which these robots were able to provide. More recently, and in the face of labor shortages, logistical robots have proved to be efficient for outdoor applications, opening up many more opportunities for their use. For example, the use of drones for delivery has the power to reduce road traffic and subsequent emissions, while their impressive, eye-catching quality draws people in with their futuristic look.
The market research report from IDTechEx, "Mobile Robotics in Logistics, Warehousing and Delivery 2024-2044", delves deeper into this and explores how the abilities of logistical robots to be flexible in such ways humans cannot shine a light on these machines as being worth investing in. It is clear that the use of robots in warehouse spaces does not only free up the time and energy of humans, but the robots themselves, providing they can be connected to a sufficient power source, will not tire or require breaks the way that people might do, allowing businesses to take advantage of this new and reliable source of labor to increase their productivity levels.
The growing relevance of research and development in these mobile robots can even be seen in tax reductions within the sector, predicted to reach a yearly market size of US$150 billion by 2044 to allow business prosperity and technological advancements to flourish.
Within agricultural markets, service robots are developed to reduce farmers' workload as they can continue to work where human efficiency might decrease, generating a great output over a period of time. However, due to their harsh working environments, such as difficult terrain and limited communication, the technologies remain challenging. Still, IDTechEx has seen significant investments in Agbot technologies, which will lead to more robust solutions in the future.
The second largest application of service robots explored by IDTechEx are those intended for personal and household use, such as robotic vacuums, and are examples of how practicality and ease of living can be combined with first-hand enjoyment and appreciation of technology. The number of hours of work these robots can do not only allow owners to save time and energy but modernizes the home and creates fantastic points of interest and discussion for those who have not yet invested in such technology. Despite already being used in households today, their design and ever-growing abilities will lead to future increases in popularity, changing the way ordinary tasks are carried out.
The attraction of the innovation and hype that surrounds robotics can be further seen in the more niche yet exciting areas of service robots, such as companionship, restaurant revamping, and underwater exploration. Despite a lower demand in the market, the higher technical difficulty makes these robots even more thrilling as they require more intricate and special designs to accommodate the specificity of the areas they are used. The technology needed for underwater robotics is so advanced that these types of robots are able to exist despite the well-known unlikely combination of water and electrical objects. These complex and unpredictable conditions in which the robots can work present them as impressively futuristic, something that will attract businesses wanting to invest in new and inspiring equipment.
In social settings, the implementation of service robots is predicted to become more visible in restaurants, where food can be served by robotic waiters in an environment that will attract customers hungry for innovative experiences. The aesthetic appearance of these smart and uniform robots is another factor for consideration, alongside the ability of a robot to carry more dishes at one time while not requiring a salary or time off, making this long-term investment even more worthwhile. Everyone enjoys efficient service when choosing to eat out, so what better than relying upon servers who are programmed to give you an enjoyable experience?
As IDTechEx predicts the implementation of service robots to become more frequent, so too will their numerous global benefits. With the use of logistical robots on a larger scale, companies will not only save time and monetary costs but will start to see investment opportunities elsewhere, such as in their own research and development. This effect will undoubtedly trickle down and benefit consumers worldwide, where the efficiency of service robots can be the exciting inspiration for a more cost-effective future across big and small businesses. On a smaller scale, research predicts changes to personal interactions, where humans will be able to benefit from reliable robotic companions built to provide care and company for people whenever and wherever needed. Within individual households, robotic vacuums are an already successful example of the wide-reaching benefits of service robots, as they are proving to provide ease of living while reshaping the future look of home life.
More information on the service robots market can be found in the IDTechEx report, "Service Robots 2022-2032: Technologies, Players & Markets". This report gives a closer look at current and future trends within the robotics market. For the full portfolio of robotics research available from IDTechEx please visit www.IDTechEx.com/Research/Robotics.