Robots on the March: Market Report Predicts Ranks to Swell Through Double Digit Growth

According to the latest market study released by Technavio, the global mobile robotics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 12 percent during the forecast period.

This research report titled ‘Global Mobile Robotics Market 2016-2020’ provides an in-depth analysis of the market regarding revenue and emerging market trends. This market research report also includes up to date analysis and forecasts for various market segments and all geographical regions.

Based on type, the report classifies the global mobile robotics market into three segments:

  • Unmanned ground vehicle (UGV)
  • Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
  • Unmanned maritime vehicle (UMV)

Global mobile robotics market by UGV

Technavio expects the global mobile robotics market by UGV to grow at a CAGR of 15.83 percent, during the forecast period, to reach USD 5.39 billion by 2020.

Mobile robots are equipped with technologically advanced sensors, cameras, and transmitters, and have the capability to maneuver freely in hostile and uneven terrains. UGVs have sensors that can observe environment conditions and pass on the information to the operators or make autonomous decisions. These robots are used for commercial, civilian, and military purposes.

UGVs are broadly classified into the following:

  • Autonomous UGVs
  • Remotely operated UGVs

According to Bharath Kanniappan, a lead analyst at Technavio for robotics, “There is a broad range of remotely operated UGVs that are predominantly used to replace humans in risky and hazardous conditions. In 2005, mobile combat robots were used in Iraq to diffuse bombs by the US army. Autonomous UGVs are still in the nascent stage of development, and increased R&D and testing are being carried out. The use of these robots improves the overall performance, reduces operating cost and risk to human personnel, and limits cycle time.”

Global mobile robotics market by UAV

UAVs are commercially known as drones, and are either controlled remotely or are autonomous. The main components consist of power supply systems, control systems, cameras, sensors, actuators, and controlling software. The applications of UAV involve inspection, security, and surveillance, and use in defense applications.

UAVs are being used in the logistics and warehousing industries for operations like physical inventory management, barcode scanning, and stock and cycle counting. In 2015, the FAA gave the license to Amazon to test drones for product delivery. This application is one of the emerging showcases for UAVs, one which was not explored previously. Other industries where UAVs are predominantly used include oil and gas, agriculture, and forestry. In the oil and gas sector, drones are frequently used to inspect and check the pipeline for leaks, which is a risky and challenging task for humans to operate. UAVs have inbuilt cameras that take videos and pictures and send them to the remote base unit. In the agriculture industry, it is used for surveying the field to know about the growth status of crops and for checking soil moisture.

Global mobile robotics by UMV

UMVs are mobile robots used for underwater tasks. They are broadly categorized as ROV and AOV. ROVs are usually tethered with cables and controlled by a central unit whereas AOVs are autonomous. ROVs are further divided into two classes that include work class and eyeball. Work class ROVs are large bulky machines that can lift and transport large equipment, whereas eyeball ROVs are smaller and used for inspection, surveillance, scientific exploration, monitoring, and rescue.

AOVs are independent and untethered. They are programmed to gather oceanographic data for a set period without any intervention. These machines are commercially used for drilling for scientific research and defense. Rising demand for fuel and depleting onshore reserves have increased the demand for offshore drilling activities. “AOVs are used for complex tasks like underwater drilling, pipeline inspection, and oil rig construction. Scientific research involves mapping of complex inaccessible deep sea geologies and monitoring of aquatic life. The defense sector employs these tools for mine hunting and active surveillance,” adds Bharath.