The global mobile cobots market size was valued at USD 897 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 7,231 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 26.1% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Industries mainly use mobile cobots (collaborative mobile robots) to perform tasks in close collaboration with human workers. A basic mobile cobot includes an AMR (autonomous mobile robot) with safety features and a collaborative robot manipulator. The mobile cobot essential application is material handling and picking. These use much less space than traditional industrial robots and can be stored in one location and moved to another as required. Mobile cobots can travel independently between several work locations, seamlessly transition from one task to the next, and transfer materials simultaneously.
Due to their advantages, including high-quality output and process uniformity, mobile cobots are an excellent solution for the automotive industry. These robots assist humans and carry out jobs, including heavy lifting, welding, handling liquid metal, and exposure to harmful gases or high temperatures that could be dangerous for humans.
Investment in automation is one of the growing trends in different industries. Investing in high-end technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) can help manufacturing companies stay ahead of the curve. Innovative technologies and smart software offer a fast, affordable, and flexible automation solution. The investment into these automation techniques can help the industries to increase the efficiency of the finance function by 38% and maximize the efficiency of the IT function by 45%.
Additionally, according to a recent report by Honeywell Intelligrated Automation Investment Study 2020, more than half of the US companies are highly open to investing in automation to survive the changing market requirements. The report also analyses that 66% of e-commerce, 59% of food, beverage, and grocery, and 55% of the logistics industries are willing to invest more in automation. Further, the automated and connected solutions have helped various industries continue operations during the pandemic. The computer-controlled solutions, robotic technology, and guided work solutions are fundamental to the sectors for future competitiveness. Henceforth, the increasing investment in automation by various industries has impacted the mobile cobots market at a high rate during the forecast period.
The cobots and human-machine interface (HMI) have formed an era for Industry 5.0. The shift towards the relationship between automated systems and workers within the manufacturing environments has surged a demand for enhancing the human-machine interface. The advances in human-machine interfaces have an essential role in expanding human capabilities, especially in manufacturing and industrial settings, and extending to entertainment, healthcare, and beyond. The cobots combined with mobile robots can develop the potential of collaborative robots by increasing their abilities in complex environments and collaborating closely with humans.
Most advanced cobots can predict human actions, perform complex movements, perform high-precision moves, and possess quick and reliable failsafe mechanisms. This ability to predict and perform human actions requires the cobot control systems based on the intelligent/predictive model to conduct the complex relationship between an astronomical number of data points in real-time. As a result, the improving human-machine interface is expected to drive the growth of the mobile cobots market during the forecast period.
The robotics industry is capital-intensive and needs significant investment throughout its life cycle, from the inception stage and designing to the roll-out and full-scale production. Implementation of advanced technology into robots is also an expensive business expense. The R&D of different collaborative robots requires specific sensors, which are costly components to build and deploy to produce cobots.
The development of cobots with AI has led to technical complexity associated with human-machine interfaces. The human-machine interface often needs help with synchronization between humans and machines due to technical complexity in cobots, a rapidly surfacing challenge for the market. Thus, the high initial cost, long product life cycle, and limited functionality of robots are expected to hamper the growth of the global mobile cobots market during the forecast period.
In Industry 5.0, humans are again included in the automation process, enabling better collaboration and efficiency between humans and robots. The development of Industry 5.0 has been accelerated by the introduction of faster, smaller, and more flexible cobots. The growing era of Industry 5.0 will likely shift the relationship between automated systems and workers that are now commonplace within manufacturing units. Furthermore, cobots offer enhanced performance and profitability to various industries.
Industry 4.0 and 5.0 together form a genuine shift toward product design, process, and maintenance in highly automated environments. In addition, the automotive sector has been the massive adopter of the cobots, with the PSA Group, whose brands include Opel, Peugeot, Vauxhall, and Citroen. They use the cobots for applications on their body-in-white assembly lines to tighten the screws on both vehicles during their production process. Further, Industry 5.0 is adopting intelligent cobots to quickly adapt to the changing technology. The World Economic Forum report suggests that the growing automation across various vital sectors will undoubtedly roll out the traditional methods. Henceforth, Industry 5.0 is expected to open lucrative global mobile cobots market opportunities.
The global mobile cobots market is segmented into weight capacity, application, and vertical.
Based on weight capacity, the global mobile cobots market is divided into 1 to 3kg, 3 to 5 kg, 5 to 10kg, and above 10 kg.
The above 10 kg segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26.4% during the forecast period. Above 10 kg robot arms are used in small and medium-sized mobile cobots for material handling, assembly, sealing dispensing, and removal. The predicted demand for helpful mechanical devices in the automotive, agricultural, and retail sectors is often attributed to the emergence of cobots. In addition, the safest mobile cobots for common factory automation activities have a load capacity of at least 10 kg. These cobots can carry out all shared tasks that cobots can accomplish with capacities up to mobile cobots.
Based on application, the global mobile cobots market is segmented into automated pallet forks, conveyor bands/belts, robotic arms, safety units, and shelf units.
The robotic arms segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 25.8% over the forecast period. Mobile robots give robotic arms more mobility and are utilized in manufacturing and warehouse logistics, where collecting things from warehouse shelves and transferring them back and forth between locations may be automated. It is beneficial in retail warehouses, where robots contain orders from various areas and bring them to a shipping area. In addition, these are monotonous operations that robots can handle, freeing human employees to focus on more critical activities. Both mobile robots and robotic arms are collaborative, allowing them to work alongside humans without additional safety precautions.
Shelf units frequently distribute semi-finished or finished goods between factories, production, warehouse, and warehousing logistics. Shelf modules are commonly used in semi-automated setups, where an employee calls the mobile robot via the robot's interface or a pre-installed button, fills the robot with items, and sends it on its way with a single button press.
Based on vertical, the global mobile cobots market is divided into aerospace, agriculture, automotive, construction, electronics and semiconductor, food and beverages, healthcare, and retail and logistics.
The retail and logistics segment is the highest contributor to the market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 26.1% over the forecast period. Mobile cobots are essential in retail as these robots allow retail stores to meet increasing demand during peak times such as festivals. Hiring and training new employees during peak times can be difficult; hence, mobile cobots provide a faster and more efficient alternative as they can work continuously without decreasing performance. In addition, mobile robots are widely used in logistics; these robots help automate the moving of goods. These robots transport goods from factories to storage facilities or warehouses to storage facilities. In the logistics industry, these robots offer excellent uptime over manual labor. Mobile cobots increase productivity, reduce transition time, and streamline the supply chain.
Based on region, the global mobile cobots market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global mobile cobots market shareholder and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 26.0% during the forecast period. Robotics technology has a growing and dominant market in Asia-Pacific. Some important nations include China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and the rest of Asia-Pacific. The demand for mobile cobots in Asia-Pacific is also driven by the cost of collaborative robots, which is lower than traditional robots, and their ability to do jobs more quickly and accurately. In addition, industrial robots are in great demand in the automotive, metals and mining, food and beverage, and healthcare sectors. Government assistance has also expanded in China, Japan, South Korea, and India, the main drivers influencing regional market expansion.
Furthermore, China is the leading market in the region. China announced a five-year strategy for smart manufacturing in December 2021, committing to the digitization of major industrial sectors by 2025. As a result, the sector's technology and market competitiveness have improved in the global race for advanced manufacturing, which is expected to drive market growth.
Europe is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 25.9% over the forecast period. The European mobile cobot market is increasing due to rising production capacities and the presence of major automotive manufacturing players. The shift in energy efficiency-driven technology is driving the mobile cobots market. Furthermore, the company of key players such as Kuka AG, ABB Ltd, and others is providing opportunities for the growth of the mobile cobots market. The mobile cobots market in Europe is expected to register considerable growth mainly due to the increasing human-machine interface market. In addition, Germany is the leading market in the region, followed by UK and France. Germany is a technologically advanced and economically vital country and is the major exporter of cars, vehicle parts, and aerospace which employs a massive portion of the country's population. The market is also primarily driven by the rise of IT industries, which are increasing the use of mobile cobots market. Further, the growing industrial sector in the UK is the key factor influencing the demand for the mobile cobots market. A considerable number of robot start-ups are rising in the UK, which contributes to the growth of the UK mobile cobots market, which in turn drives the regional market growth in the region.
The North American region is among the leading innovators and pioneers in the adoption of robotics, as well as one of the largest markets. The primary reason for the market's growth is the increasing adoption of these collaborative robots across numerous industries. This growth in the North American region is because of the early adoption of cobots in the manufacturing industry due to the extensive use of these robots in the automobile, electronics, and machine manufacturing industries. In addition, growing positive government initiatives due to the industrial revolution and enormous funds for R&D for cobot manufacturing further enhance the market size in the North American region.
The North American mobile cobots market is also segmented into US, Canada, and Mexico. The US is the largest market in the world in terms of the mobile cobots market. The manufacturing industries in the US are the primary driver of growth in the region, with an ongoing trend to automate production processes to strengthen US industries in both domestic and international markets. The region's government is also encouraging the use of robotics by taking steps to support the development of cutting-edge robotics technologies.
South America has the slowest robot adoption rate as compared to other regions. However, the increased use of industrial automation has become mandatory by governments in several South American countries, which boosts the growth of the robotics market. Phoenix Control Systems Ltd has been actively planning to introduce small robotic production cells in the South American market. The countries include Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and the Rest of South America.
The Middle East and Africa comprise countries such as South Africa, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, and the Rest of the Middle East and Africa. The Middle East and Africa is an emerging market for industrial robotics. The region has registered high growth in the chemical, healthcare, and food and beverage industry with augmented reality implications. Moreover, the increasing adoption of advanced technology and solutions has encouraged manufacturers to efficiently manufacture the devices, thereby boosting the growth of the mobile cobots market.
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