Service robot market growing in automotive, non-automotive applications

Service robots, whether its in professional or personal use, are growing by leaps and bounds and that doesn't appear to be slowing anytime soon as robots become more sophisticated.

By Robotic Industries Association (RIA) January 22, 2020

The global sales value of service robots is undergoing tremendous growth, according to the International Federation of Robotics. The report includes multiple interesting insights about the robotics market. Autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) made up the largest share of the professional service robot market with inspection and maintenance robots close behind.

Sales of professional service robots rose by 61% in 2018 vs. 2017; in 2019, service robot sales reached $12.9 billion. This includes service robots used for everything from logistics to medical robotics to defense. Logistics systems, such as drones and other AGVs, grew by 60% in 2018. Many of these logistics systems are being used by e-commerce warehouses. A growing number of hospitals are also using logistics robotics to deliver supplies, medications, and samples for lab tests.

Medical robots increased by 50% in 2018, accounting for 31% of the total sales value of professional use service robots at $2.8 billion. This is of key interest because medical robots are the most expensive service robots with an average unit price of $548,000. Field robot sales increased by 8% to $1 billion, as well. Many of these service robots include milking robots along with robots used for the automation of crop farming and horticulture.

Personal and domestic use of service robots

The market for personal service robots is also booming. Sales of personal and domestic robots are expected to total $4.6 billion in 2019. By 2022, sales are forecasted to reach $11.5 billion. Vacuum and floor cleaning robots are growing in popularity and are predicted to enter more households throughout the world. Autonomous pool cleaners and lawnmowers will likely join them in the coming years.

Service robots experience solid growth

Other industries are also taking advantage of the advances in robot technologies. Plastics and rubber industries ordered 15% more robots, while food and consumer goods industries increased orders by 4%. Not surprisingly, automotive OEMs have increased robot orders by 47% in 2019, too.

Many in the industry were concerned in 2018 when there was a dip of orders in Q3. But this year’s recovery will help the robotics industry to the end the year strong. Growth is also expected in 2020. Jeff Burnstein, president of A3 and RIA, said orders from non-automotive customers are at near-record numbers, which is a “healthy sign for the long-term growth of the robotics industry.”

This article originally appeared on the Robotics Online Blog. Robotic Industries Association (RIA) is a part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), a CFE Media content partner.

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