Although the concept of modular robotics is not new, research firms have only recently studied the market for reconfigurable robots with multiple functions or features. Future Market Insights predicts that this niche will grow in the next few years.
“Some people call such robots ‘collaborative,’ but we’re focused on robots that can change arms or grippers,” said Nikhil Kaitwade, senior research manager at Future Market Insights. “The demand for self-adapting modular robotics in precision applications is increasing.”
The market for modular robotics will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18%, growing from $4.7 billion (U.S.) in 2018 to $10.76 billion by 2023, according to Future Market Insights. The firm surveyed both vendors and end users, asking whether they were using conventional or modular robotics.
A Growing Segment With Established Players
“It’s a very niche segment, with a small number of robots right now,” acknowledged Kaitwade. “However, modular robotics are increasing at a higher growth rate than other robots.”
Applications for modular robotics include handling of parcels or precious metals, he added. They require high precision and flexibility.
“There are certainly established players, such as ABB, FANUC, KUKA, and Mitsubishi Electric. They have the lead when it comes to selling to the market and customer confidence,” Kaitwade said. “And some companies are developing components, like Honeywell, Infineon, and Rockwell Automation.”
“Startups and smaller companies such as Robot Factory and Vincross are pursuing multifunction robots for particular requirements,” he said. “We’re seeing budding players around modular robotics applications such as inspection, food processing, and e-commerce.”