According to updated research by market intelligence firm Interact Analysis, the collaborative robot (cobot) market will enjoy modest growth out to 2032, with annual growth rates sitting at around 20%.
Collaboration between humans and robots is now widely accepted, Interact Analysis noted, so robot manufacturers suggest that the key to future success will be their ability to scale up production and develop new application scenarios. The logistics industry will also play an important role in this growth trajectory.
As with all industries, the current economic landscape and the Ukraine-Russia war have had an impact on the collaborative robot market, Interact added. Out to 2027, shipments of collaborative robots in EMEA will decrease from 19.5% to 15.9%, with a CAGR of 22.4%. However, the CAGR for the Americas region will sit at 25.8%, and at 28.2% in APAC. 2022 and 2023 has, and continues to be, a difficult period for the US and European collaborative robot market as a result of inflation and ongoing supply chain disruptions, the firm noted.
Interact Analysis forecasts that EMEA will begin to recover in the second half of 2023 and into the first half of 2024, while recovery in the US will take slightly longer, with a US manufacturing downturn expected in 2024. Interact Analysis also forecasts that collaborative robot market penetration will surpass 20% by 2032
The majority of collaborative robot vendors are what Interact Analysis refers to as ‘pure-play’ cobot vendors. This means collaborative robots are their main and only product line. Universal Robots retains its position as market leader, with AUBO, TechMan and JAKA following behind. Most of these vendors are based in the APAC region, with Chinese vendors increasing their share in the local market. South Korean manufacturers have also begun to emerge in the market since 2020, but their success has been largely tied to the local market because market entry is more difficult for overseas manufacturers.
“It’s promising to see that the application field for collaborative robots is widening," commented Maya Xiao, Research Manager at Interact Analysis. "Maintaining this will be a key factor in future growth of the market. Deployment of cobots in the education, medical, logistics, catering and retail sectors is increasing due to the development of machine vision and machine learning software.”
Fulfillment center processes offer another growth opportunity for cobot solutions, Xiao also noted. “The logistics industry also offers enormous opportunity for the collaborative robot market due to the ability of robots to replace manual labor in areas such as picking, packing, loading/unloading and quality inspection," Xiao said. "Watch this space, the market is set to enjoy steady growth over the next 10 years.”