This IDC FutureScape presents the IDC Worldwide Robotics team’s analysis of key drivers relating to robotics and drone technologies, and how these drivers are likely to shape the development of robotics and drones in the planning horizon of 2019 through 2024. The development and deployment of robotics (including drones) in various industries continued to accelerate in 2017, with double-digit growth based on IDC research.
The past year witnessed many new innovations in robotics. Examples include collaborative robots (cobots) with built-in force/torque sensors at robot joints for intelligent handling of products, new robots with built-in computer vision to sense parts and the environment during product assembly and handling, sensory solutions that can be used to transform industrial robotic arms into safer collaborative robots for heavy payloads, artificial intelligence (AI) demonstrated to automate the programming of assembly robots based on product configuration, integration of robots with additive manufacturing, and so on.
To better prepare and support the technology buyer community for the upcoming trends relating to robotics technology development and adoption, IDC robotics analysts worldwide worked collaboratively on the identification of the top 10 robotics predictions, bringing together the collective knowledge of their regions, industrial verticals, and data points of how technology is being deployed across all industries as well as consumers.
The top 10 predictions are summarized as follows:
Prediction 1: By 2023, 40% of G2000 manufacturers will have digitally connected at least 30% of their robots to a cloud platform to improve operational efficiency and agility.
Prediction 2: In line with collaborative robots becoming safer, smarter, and simpler to deploy, their adoption rate in the manufacturing and third-party logistics industries will have doubled by 2022.
Prediction 3: By 2023, 25% of leading retail stores will have explored or deployed in-store robots to relieve human workers from repetitive tasks, thus increasing worker productivity by 40%.
Prediction 4: By 2021, 60% of G2000 organizations will have deployed autonomous mobile robots (including AGVs) to increase total productivity by automating material movement within operational processes.
Prediction 5: By the end of 2023, 50% of robot end-user organizations will have switched to third-party robot maintenance providers to enjoy faster response, higher availability, and better cost effectiveness.
Prediction 6: Organizations that integrate their robots into their business systems — such as their ERP, MES, WMS, OMS, and so forth — will gain up to an extra 40% return on their robotics investments by 2021.
Prediction 7: By the end of 2022, 1% of all households worldwide will have at least one consumer robot in service, driving a shift in attitude to the technology and a related improvement in workplace acceptance.
Prediction 8: By 2020, 20% of all commercial drones will utilize solid-state battery technology, which will enable drones to stay aloft longer and be more productive.
Prediction 9: By 2022, to negate hacking and hijacking attempts, 50% of commercial drones will utilize encryption to secure ground-to-air control communications.
Prediction 10: By 2021, because of the threat of cyberattacks, cybersecurity features will be among the top 3 robotics product selection criteria for robotics users and prospects across all sectors and segments.
Robots are becoming more intelligent, safer, and simpler to deploy, and more digitally connected to further empower user organizations in their ongoing digital transformation journeys. We continue to see the fast advancement of robotics technology and their accelerated deployment in more industry verticals with added new use cases. Integrating robots with enterprise information systems and to industrial IoT platforms provides new opportunities for increasing overall operations efficiency and agility, enabling organizations to deliver higher-quality products and services with greater efficiency.
Learn more about the 2019 Robotics Predictions
For context around these predictions, including the IT impact and guidance on how to integrate each prediction in the digital strategy of the enterprise, view the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Robotics 2019 Predictions web conference on-demand.
John Santagate, Research Director, Service Robotics, IDC