Report: China and US set to drive post-COVID surge in cobot sales

Jan. 19, 2021
After an arid 2020 growth is predicted to be of the order of 15-20% year on year up to 2028.

Interact Analysis has released a report on the collaborative robot market that explores what turned out to be a difficult 2019 and a tumultuous 2020 but gives reason for optimism for the sector from now up to 2028, with significant growth predicted.

Per the report, in 2020 the market saw negative growth for the first time: 11.3% in revenue terms and -5.7% in shipment terms. Factory and warehouse closures slowed down demand; and customers became more cautious about investment, leading to delays or even cancellations of orders. But Interact Analysis’s research indicates that there will be a V-shaped rebound for the industry which will result in growth of nearly 20% in 2021, surpassing 2019 market size.

Thereafter up to 2028 there will be an annual growth rate of the order of 15-20%. The forecast has been lowered considerably compared to the equivalent 2019 report, the main reasons being, besides the COVID effect, competition from small articulated and SCARA robots in industrial settings, and the slower than expected increase in cobot installations in non-industrial applications. But in these turbulent times, the outlook looks good for the sector, per the report. 

Jan Zhang, senior director at Interact Analysis, said, “Collaborative robots are still the new kid on the block. Their application potential hasn’t been fully exploited yet, by any means. At present, electronics is by far the biggest end-industry employing cobots, but their potential is now being recognized across a range of sectors. Their flexibility and ease of use makes them strong candidates for logistics, services and even education applications. Our research tells us that those non-manufacturing areas will account for 21.3% of collaborative robot revenues by 2024. Our little cobot friends are certainly set to enjoy significant growth compared to other robot types!”