Sun. Oct 1st, 2023
    The Growth of Mobile Robotics in Logistics and Warehousing

    Mobile robots have experienced significant growth in the last decade, with advancements in robotics technology, autonomous navigation, and artificial intelligence driving their autonomous mobility. A recent market research report by IDTechEx titled “Mobile Robotics in Logistics, Warehousing, and Delivery 2024-2044” explores the technical, regulatory, and market aspects influencing the emerging logistics mobile robot industry.

    The report reveals a substantial increase in funding for various types of mobile robots from 2015 to 2022, highlighting their potential to automate logistics operations such as material handling, picking, distribution, and last-mile delivery. While some applications like automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for material transport have reached a mature stage and are generating billions of dollars in annual revenue, others like drone delivery are still emerging and face regulatory and technological challenges.

    Despite different levels of market readiness, all segments of mobile robotics are experiencing rapid growth, with technology giants acquiring start-up companies. Recent examples include United Robotics Group’s acquisition of Robotnik, Amazon’s acquisition of iRobot, and the merger of Mobile Industrial Robots with AutoGuide Mobile Robots.

    The IDTechEx report examines the key products used in logistics operations, including AGVs, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), case-picking robots, mobile manipulators, heavy load autonomous mobile vehicles (AMVs), and last-mile delivery robots. It explores recent technology advancements and commercial transitions, such as Amazon’s fully autonomous mobile robot, Proteus, driving the adoption of AMRs in warehouses.

    The report also provides in-depth technology analysis, discussing various sensors, software, and navigation technologies used in mobile robots. Interviews with industry players shed light on their unique value propositions, regulatory approvals, funding status, and flagship products.

    One notable transition is the shift from AGVs to AMRs. While AGVs rely on infrastructures like magnetic tapes and QR codes for navigation, AMRs leverage SLAM technology, offering greater flexibility. The report provides an independent analysis of when each robot type is favorable to users.

    Looking ahead, the report offers a 20-year market forecast for mobile robotics in the logistics industry, predicting a market size of around US$150 billion. This indicates significant opportunities for component suppliers, robot OEMs, and end-users.

    Sources: IDTechEx