Exoskeletons are set to be the fastest growing area within the robotics industry, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39% between 2022 and 2030, according to a recent report by GlobalData. The report, titled Thematic Intelligence: Robotics (2023), explores the current and future landscape of the robotics industry, including the technological, economic, and demographic aspects.
Exoskeletons are wearable technologies that provide wearers with additional strength and endurance. Currently, their main applications are in the medical, defense, and manufacturing sectors. However, as advancements continue in both the exoskeleton and robotics fields, other uses are expected to become clearer. Areas such as civil protection, including firefighting, are being explored, and advancements in brain-machine connectivity are anticipated to play a major role in the evolution of exoskeletons.
The medical sector is currently the most developed in terms of utilizing exoskeleton technology. For instance, the report highlights Cyberdyne’s Hybrid Assistive Limb exoskeleton, which uses sensors to detect electrical signals and provides support for joint movement in patients who have suffered from spinal cord injuries, strokes, or other limb disorders.
Exoskeletons also have potential military applications, offering soldiers greater physical protection and increased physical capabilities. However, for the exoskeleton market to grow as projected, consistent funding is vital. Additionally, advances in brain-machine connectivity will contribute to the expansion of exoskeleton technology into a broader range of sectors and applications.
Looking more broadly, the report predicts that the overall robotics industry will be worth $218 billion by 2030, a significant increase from $63 billion in 2022. It emphasizes that consumer robots, such as disc-shaped vacuum cleaners, remain the most prevalent in the market. Contrary to the dystopian humanoid images often depicted in popular culture, robots currently coexist with humans in various industries, particularly performing repetitive and hazardous tasks.
With the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), robots are expected to have access to vast amounts of data, enabling increased productivity in the industries that utilize them. The potential uses of AI in robotics may extend to interpreting human emotions and reacting accordingly as neuromorphic processing technology progresses.
– GlobalData’s Thematic Intelligence: Robotics (2023) report