The global mobile robots market size was valued at USD 16,313.21million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 100,076.24 million by 2031,growing at a CAGR of 22.33% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Compared to other robots, mobile robots can move autonomously, react, and make decisions based on the perception they receive from the environment. Mobile robots are provided input data, which they decode, and take actions to respond to a changing environment. They have a powerful cognition system to sense and adapt to an unknown environment. Some examples of mobile robots are humanoid robots, unmanned rovers, entertainment pets, drones, and others. Mobile robotics has created several types of robots, such as wheeled mobile robots, legged robots, flying robots, robot vision, artificial intelligence, and others. Furthermore, mobile robotics involves different technologies like mechanics, electronics, and computer science. The new trends led by artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, network communication, cooperative work, nanorobotics, and emotional expression and perception are improving mobile robots.
The robotics industry is rapidly encouraging the mobile robots market due to the fast-paced technological advancements converging in engineering, automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. The consequences of the emergence of mobile robots have resulted in the transformation of humans' task-performing capacity in various industries. The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) states that the number of robots is projected to be augmented three-fold over the past two decades. Moreover, cognitive architecture, speech communication, and affective human–robot interaction are expected to be increasingly incorporated into robots designed for various applications such as military defense and security, surveillance, dangerous work and moving in hazardous places, and space exploration.
Technological advancements such as conversational skills, delivery drones, autonomous driverless cars, and smart factories with robotic co-workers are already profoundly affecting how industries function. Apart from this, in poor and underdeveloped countries with a shortage of skilled labor, mobile robots can create remarkable opportunities across various sectors in these countries. Moreover, this automation and robotics era is expected to boost the demand for mobile robots across the residential and industrial sectors.
As the world's population ages and with a growing shortage of physicians and other healthcare laborers, the presence of robots will increase in the healthcare system. Consecutively, healthcare providers are fascinated by robots owing to their ability to reduce the cost of care, improve the accuracy of repetitive tasks, offload menial tasks from human personnel, and allow enhanced forms of therapy and rehabilitation, among other types of use cases.
In addition, mobile robots are being widely used in defense applications. These robots perform various functions, including carrying heavy equipment, operating in dangerous situations to keep soldiers at a safer distance, and rescuing wounded soldiers in combat zones. Mobile robots are becoming an integral part of military campaigns, helping to keep soldiers safe and providing a tactical advantage in different combat scenarios. As the military continues experimenting and finding success with varying forms of mobile robots, the market is expected to register higher growth over the upcoming years.
The rapid growth of robotic systems has implications for various fields. It is a boon to disparate areas such as healthcare, education, logistics and transportation, and several others. Conversely, the robotic system will bring far-reaching employment, economy, and security variations. In addition, the primary issue concerning privacy involves data protection and data transfer. Mobile robots continuously interact with the environments in which they operate. This includes continuously transmitting large amounts of data in and out of the system.
In healthcare, for mobile robots, the data is not just environmental and contextual data but also those that relate to the particular humans to which these robots are attached. This could contain sensitive health and financial information. Hence, mobile robots' security and discreetness is a critical design imperatives. It disturbs the safety and security of the robot and the individual it relates to, comprising the individual's properties.
The potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation superiority have rendered a ripe market for the global mobile robots market. Mobile robots have come a long way in the past decade, from performing complex logistics to allowing effortless unmanning of defense vehicles. Furthermore, the technical ability to automate various tasks with changing complexities has encouraged an exponential demand for mobile robots in numerous industries, such as agriculture, defense, healthcare, infrastructure, aerospace, logistics, entertainment, and research and development. Therefore, the bourgeoning applications of mobile robots in various fields could cause these products to become essential soon. The application of mobile robots for domestic purposes is anticipated to open up several growth opportunities for the global mobile robots market.
Based on type, the global mobile robots market is divided into aerial vehicles, unmanned ground vehicles, and autonomous underwater vehicles.
The unmanned ground vehicles segment is responsible for the largest market share and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 21.34% over the forecast period. Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) operate on land without a human onboard operator and are used for various civilian and military applications. It is mainly used in environments that are dangerous or unpleasant to humans and for complex, dull tasks or pose offensive risks. UGVs are used in various missions where it may be difficult, harmful, or impossible to have a human operator present. In addition, technological developments in sensors and remote-control technologies propel the demand for autonomous UGVs. Tele-operated semi-automatic UGV is also gaining popularity to maintain higher access. Further, industry participants are developing UGVs with advanced operational capabilities, such as automatic and semi-automatic modes of operation.
An aerial robot executes a pre-programmed task with or without a human interface and is inspired by an airplane's operation. Initially, UGVs were primarily used in military applications. Still, they expanded rapidly to other applications such as scientific, agricultural, commercial, recreational, policing, surveillance, product deliveries, distribution and logistics, aerial photography, etc. In addition, the increase in the procurement of aerial vehicles by defense forces worldwide is one of the major driving factors to the growth of the aerial vehicles segment. The rising adoption of aerial vehicles in a civil and commercial applications, increasing deployment of aerial vehicles in border patrolling and combating terrorism, and regulations by the federal aviation administration (FAA) to permit the use of aerial vehicles in several industries are the key factors driving the growth of the unmanned aerial vehicle segment.
Based on application, the global mobile robots market is segmented into defense, logistics and warehousing, medical and healthcare, domestic, entertainment, education, and personal, and others.
The defense segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 21.95% during the forecast period. Defense mobile robots are the type of professional robots that the military has deployed at the time of combat scenarios. These robots play a significant role in keeping soldiers safe and contribute to the military's superiority. Defense mobile robots contributed around 19 percent share of all service robots in 2019 and are expected to grow in forthcoming years. Moreover, to boost quickness and strength, robotic exoskeletons such as full-body exoskeletons, passive military exoskeletons, lower body-powered exoskeletons, stationary military exoskeletons, and energy scavenging were used for defense applications.
Furthermore, field robots, also of professional mobile robots forms, are commonly used in defense applications. These are usually used to carry heavy equipment, operate in risky situations to keep soldiers at a safe distance, and rescue wounded soldiers in a combat zone. Since huge success is found with multiple forms of defense robots, the market is estimated to grow substantially.
Logistic mobile robots provide an excellent uptime over manual labor, leading to a considerable gain in productivity and profitability. Logistic robots are used to transport goods as mobile automated guided vehicles (AGV) in storage facilities and warehouses. These robots automate the process of moving and storing goods, making a way through supply chains. In addition, some examples of logistics robots include AGVs for transporting goods outdoors, mobile robots in retail that count the shelf inventory in real-time, and robotic arms that are used to categorize items from assembly lines and bins. Moreover, logistic robots are used in labs and hospitals to deliver laboratory specimens and medicines. Hence, due to high profitability, companies realize the value and wide range of applications driving the market.
North America Dominates the Global Market
Based on region, the global mobile robots market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and RoW.
North America is the highest contributor to the global mobile robots market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 20.81% during the forecast period. North America is considered the most significant player in the market as countries such as the U.S. and Canada contribute significantly to the overall revenue. North America is expected to proliferate in the mobile robot market over the forecast period owing to the end-users early adoption of technically advanced products. Owing to the rising demand from the medical field for rehabilitation in the region, favorable funding for assistive technologies for research, various hospitals adopting surgical robots, and the availability of technologically innovative robots are driving factors for the service robotics market in the region. In addition, around 35% of the mobile robot producers are located in North America, which is the ultimate potential for regional market growth in North America. The U.S. is the top-ranking country in the global market for mobile robots because most of North America's key players in mobile robots are present in the U.S. Further, the mobile robot market is driven by rapid commercialization and the progress of its manufacturing industry. This region's early acceptance of technology has encouraged the mobile robots market to flourish briskly.
Europe is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 22.50% over the forecast period. The European region offers a substantial potential for market growth owing to rapid growth in markets such as U.K and France. Mobile robots are becoming increasingly valuable and can significantly help people in their everyday lives, in private and professional spheres. The European Commission is committed to cooperating at all levels, from regional to European, because Europe is a global leader in this field. Some major players operating in the mobile robot market are Kongsberg Maritime, KUKA, Promobot, Bluefrog Robotics, LEGO, and ECA Group. These companies are active on several fronts of rising and disruptive ICT technologies and are supplying the market with significant products and services. In addition, robotics research and education are performed at technical universities and research labs all over Sweden. Researchers see practical uses for robots in performing socially undesirable, hazardous, or "impossible" tasks such as toxic waste clean-up and underwater and space exploration.
The Asia-Pacific market will grow at a substantial CAGR during the predicted years as technical awareness rises. The region has long been seen as an innovator in industrial and consumer robots. The demand and utilization for mobile robots are anticipated to increase in the Asia-Pacific shortly due to the ongoing development by Chinese and Japanese manufacturers of robotic systems. High regulatory and financial support by various governments for Asian companies to add service robotics technologies in personal, industrial, and professional applications. Major mobile robot market players are Honda Motor, Softbank, DJI, Samsung Electronics, and LG. In addition, players are working on network-based remote control functions and data collection and analysis for mobility and healthcare-related robots to improve their services. High costs, end-user difficulties, poor audio/video, and internet connectivity issues in certain countries are the major factors hampering the market's growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
The RoW comprises the Middle East and Africa and Latin America region. Latin America and the Middle East and Africa are anticipated to show moderate growth due to the relatively low technological progress in the region. Hence, the region is estimated to exhibit a relatively low growth rate than other regions and countries. The Latin American Robotics Council has actively organized student competitions, symposia, and summer schools, promoting robotics and bringing students and researchers across the region. This focus on robotic urban restructuring in Dubai primarily focuses on attracting overseas participants to engage with the Dubai Future Accelerators in partnership with key government agencies.
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