Service robotics is an emergent industry driven by the rising investment in the fields of artificial intelligence, smart machines, and automation. The convenience of service robots goes beyond menial tasks; the wide range of service robots now available due to the consistent technological progress of the industry has resulted in a steady rise in the demand for service robots from diverse sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, logistics, defense, entertainment, and research. As a rule of thumb, service robots are utilized in applications that are too dull, dirty, or dangerous for humans.
The flourishing service robotics industry is set to exhibit rapid growth in the coming years, with the market’s valuation expected to rise from US$5.6 bn in 2014 to US$22.5 bn by 2021, according to Transparency Market Research. This represents a robust CAGR of 18.8% between 2015 and 2021.
Q. What are the key drivers for the global service robotics market?
One of the most important drivers for the service robotics industry is the rising demand from the defense sector. In addition to improving the capacity of human soldiers, many nations across the world are now also focusing on the development of smart weapons and equipment. Unmanned ground as well as aerial vehicles and demining vehicles are among the most common smart equipment used in the defense sector, which has led to a steady demand from the service robotics industry. The demand for smart weaponry is not likely to slow down in the coming years, with the U.S. in particular emerging as a strong consumer.
The rapid adoption of robotic surgical systems in the healthcare sector in developed economies is another leading driver for the global service robotics industry. Robotic systems are used to perform delicate surgeries in which the chances of human error are high. The exemplary precision offered by surgical robotic systems has driven their demand in the last few years. This is likely to remain a key driver for the global service robotics industry in the coming years, as the healthcare sector in populous developing economies presents an immense scope for future growth.
As a result, professional service robots are likely to retain a dominant lead over personal robots in the coming years. In terms of regional hierarchy, the presence of several market leaders and a research-friendly environment will help North America remain the key contributor to the global service robotics market.
Q. What are the effects of the adoption of service robots on human workers?
The steady development of the service robotics industry is promising, but widespread adoption of robotic systems could result in significant unemployment problems. While the initial cost of service robotic systems is high, long-term use can generate a sustainable economy of scale due to the unerring accuracy and robust dependability of modern robotic systems; the increasing adoption of service robotics will also help lower the costs. This could lead to several types of manual laborers being made redundant.
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However, the situation has been reversed in some countries. In Singapore, where immigration is a sensitive concern and the influx of migrant workers is restricted and stringently monitored, service robotic systems have taken on a crucial role in the service sector. While administrative positions are held by humans, robots are used as everything from a nurse to a waiter due to their virtually limitless customizability. The ubiquitous use of other technologically advanced equipment in the prosperous country has also made the deployment of robotic systems easier than in other regions. While this may not be viable in many countries, considering Singapore’s relatively small population, the service sector is likely to become a key consumer of service robotic systems in the coming years.