Demand for service robots will grow at an accelerated pace in 2021, following 24% improvement in annual sales volumes in 2020. In a series of reports, Global Personal Service Robot Sales Forecast to 2026, Global Professional Service Robot Sales Forecast to 2026, and Service Robot Revenue and ASP Forecasts to 2026 a research team of Strategy Analytics shows that the Covid-19 pandemic actually helped grow demand for service robots, particularly business-oriented service robots in 2020 and that growth will continue in coming years.
“Demand for service robots for both consumers and businesses grew in 2020 as the global Covid-19 pandemic created a need for work that limited human-to-human contact” observes Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics. “From robots that cleaned homes and businesses to ones that sorted, packed and delivered goods, roles for robots increased.”
Professional robot sector
“The professional robot sector, in particular, grew rapidly in 2020” comments Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics. “Especially in the cleaning and disinfecting segment, where global volumes increased by a whopping 165% in 2020. This proved to be a goldmine for companies such as UVD Robots and LG Electronics that manufacture UV-light disinfection robots. Meanwhile, the delivery and logistics robot segment, which includes robots that deliver packages and that sort and pack packages at warehouses like Amazon’s, grew by 84% in the same period.”
“Consumers also turned to robots to automate household tasks like vacuuming and mopping floors, as companions and assistants and educational tasks for children who couldn’t return to closed schools” noted Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics. “For those who retained their jobs while working from home, many appeared to use income that they were no longer spending on vacations and other purchases on labor-saving devices for the home. The stay-at-home phenomenon worked out well for home cleaning vendors such as iRobot, Ecovacs and Roborock, and for educational robot vendors such as Softbank, Embodied and Lego, which have seen healthy sales during the pandemic.”
“We expect demand for robots, both in the home and in professional settings, to grow in 2021 and beyond” says Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics. “Particularly in settings such as warehouses, the genii is out of the bottle and businesses have discovered that replacing workers with robots can result in major savings over time. Robots are more efficient, faster and can work 24-7 and don’t take holidays. Even post-pandemic, certain business sectors will be irrevocably changed by service robots.”