According to the market research of the German Federation of international robotics Federation (IFR) for the development trend of the global service robots, it shows that the growth rate of the consumer robots is much faster than that of other robots. In 2020, personal or household service robots are expected to sell 40 million – some of which come from the rapid growth of robot start-ups.
The service robot category covers almost all robots, except for fixed position industrial robots, designed for fast and accurate completion of a major task. The form and function of the service robot is different from the industrial robot, and the sales volume is much higher than that of the industrial robot. Most of the analysis studies divide service robots into “professional” and “personal / household”. Professional service robots include robots used in military or medical applications, and personal and household robots with intelligent vacuum cleaners and toys. Professional service robots are more complex and more expensive, with annual sales of tens of million units. The design of personal and domestic robots is simpler and cheaper, and hundreds of thousands of sales are sold every year. Most of these two types of robots are produced in the United States.
Released 2017 “global service robot IFR (World Robotics:Service Robots 2017”) survey report pointed out that in 2016 the global professional service robot sales in 2015 compared with 24% growth, but sales increased by only 2%. IFR thinks the reason is that the sales of high – value-added military machines have slipped slightly (19% of 2016 sales). Sales of unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) fell by 32%, although sales of UAV, the highest city – occupied military UAV, grew by 4%.
Farm or agricultural robots, such as milking systems, account for about 10% of professional service robots, and sales in 2016 were slightly lower than in 2015. However, the most expensive medical robots in all service robots have grown by 23% per unit sales, accounting for 2.7% of the sales of professional robots in 2016. In addition, the power exoskeleton robot that assists patients to walk and reduce the weight of the load has grown by 21% per unit of sales. The growth rate of the logistics system is faster, such as the automatic guide vehicle (AGV) used in the factory, which has increased by 34% in 2016, accounting for 43% of the professional service robot.
Most of the personal / household robots are robots that help to do housework, such as lawn mowing and sweeping robots. IFR’s report estimates that sales of such robots grew by 25% in 2016. Another fast growing category is entertainment robots, such as complex toys, which grew by 22% in 2016.