Face it, you are paying attention to robotics. Maybe it’s as a curiosity, maybe it’s out of due diligence, or perhaps your interest stems from a realization that robotic technology has become useful in ways well beyond the expected use. Regardless of your interest in robots, the fact is, robotic technology is quickly expanding beyond the realm of industrial automation and has steadily been making its way into new industries and use cases. As this technology expands into new areas, it is important for companies developing business applications, IoT and analytics platforms, and systems integration to pay attention and look for opportunities to capitalize on a new and growing market.
More than 3 years ago, I wrote a IDC Community post, “Using Robots to Curb Labor Shortage in Chinese Manufacturing” highlighting a factory in China that replaced 90% of the people in the factory with automation and robots. In that case the workforce was reduced from 650 employees down to only 60 people, those remaining were doing drastically different work than those jobs that were replaced. The jobs shifted from manual labor to oversight, maintenance, and support of the automation and robotics systems.
Still think wide-scale robotics is the stuff of science fiction? Think again: global spending on robotics and drones solutions will total $103.1 billion in 2018 alone, a 22.1% increase over 2017. By 2021, IDC predicts that spending will double, accounting for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.4%.