A collaborative robot is a machine that works alongside people, such as as a guide or assistance during a task or activity. Collaborative robots are intended and created to respond to human directions and actions, as opposed to autonomous robots, which operate primarily independently and without supervision. Cobots are generally lightweight and equipped with sensors to ensure safe behaviour.
Automation aids in increasing production, enhancing quality, and eliminating errors. Rising demand for automation has accelerated the deployment of robots in a variety of sectors. The increased need for automation in businesses and smart factories would fuel market expansion. The global collaborative robot market is expected to reach US$1.60 billion in 2023, growing at a CAGR of 26.12% during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific dominated the market by occupying almost half of the market. The factor driving the collaboratibve robot market in Asia Pacific is the presence of various global and domestic players especially in China. Furthermore, aging population and rising labor cost in several countries in the Asia Pacific region would drive the market growth in the coming years.
Top Impacting Factors:
The number of smart factories have been increasing rapidly since it reduces production process time and expenses. These smart factories are full of robots and automation equipment. Collaborative robot plays an important role in the manufacturing process of smart factories. Collaborative robot allows for intelligent automation and the establishment of safer, more productive work environments in which the interaction between machines and humans guarantees that each of their traits and skills is fully utilized. The use of collaborative robots in the manufacturing process in the smart factories would help in achieving higher level of cooperation and efficiency. Therefore, increasing number of smart factories would drive the growth of collaborative robot market.
The risk of data breaches is raised since robots may obtain and store a vast amount of personal information. Cyber or hacking attacks against robots are a possibility. If a hacker gains control of a collaborative robot, the invader may make mistakes in part manufacturing. This would risk the manufacturer's ability to use whatever it is developing in the future, resulting in significant losses. A new cyber-security plan aiming at providing end-to-end protection for robots has been released by a number of governments, including Japan. However, the compromise on privacy is and will continue to be a big obstacle for the collaborative robot business, as many users will feel like they are constantly being watched and will be afraid of losing vital information such as financial data and even companies’ secrets. Increasing cyber security threats in the connected collaborative robot as a result of IoT integration, as well as a lack of information about organizational networks, are important restraints on the market's growth.
To address the needs of each cobot machine cell, microfactories include dozens of production cells, each of which require varied latency from the 5G network slice. The 5G network brings up new opportunities for high-tech warehouses and industrial plants, where collaborative robots coexist with other cutting-edge technologies such as computer vision, augmented reality, and big data platforms. Industrial networks and equipment could be safer as a result of advancements in 5G and cobots. If any person go too close to the cobots, the 5G connection causes them to stop in a millisecond. The 5G network connectivity would provide better safety in close surroundings.
The COVID-19 Analysis:
Till the end of 2019, the collaborative robot market growth trend was positive. However, the COVID-19 outbreak further restricted market expansion and investment in collaborative robots, which were expected to increase in 2020 but the market could not perform well due to the pandemic. This may also be explained by the fact that the largest original equipment manufacturer for collaborative robot was particularly heavily struck by the pandemic, which only exacerbated the issues for suppliers and manufacturers of collaborative robots at the time.
In spite of COVID-19's effects and uncertainties, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the robotics industry persisted in the first half of 2021. Due to the intense competition and businesses' desire to diversify their portfolios, a number of deals took place during that period. Moreover, the technological developments brought after COVID-19 outbreak is expected to assist the market growth further.
Analysis of Key Players:
The key players of the global collaborative robot market are:
The global colborative robot market is fragmented. However, the market is concentrated in China with the presence of several domestic and global players such as AUBO, Elite, Han’s, Universal Robot, etc. AUBO dominated the market in China, which is a domestic player in China. Among the global players Universal robot recorded the highest share in China. Universal Robots lead the global market with more than 40% share in terms of installation as of 2021.