The field of mobile robotics has seen remarkable growth in recent years, driven by advancements in technology, autonomous navigation, and artificial intelligence. According to a market research report titled “Mobile Robotics in Logistics, Warehousing, and Delivery 2024-2044” by IDTechEx, this growth is expected to continue in the coming years.
The report highlights the significant increase in funding for various types of mobile robots from 2015 to 2022, indicating their potential to automate a wide range of logistics operations. These operations include material handling, material picking, long-haul distribution, and last-mile delivery. While some applications, such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for material transport, have already reached a mature stage and are generating billions of dollars in annual revenue, others, like drone delivery, are still in the early stages due to regulatory constraints and technological challenges.
Despite differing levels of market readiness, each segment of the mobile robot industry is experiencing rapid growth, with notable examples of technology giants acquiring start-up companies. For instance, Robotnik was acquired by United Robotics Group, iRobot was acquired by Amazon, and Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) merged with AutoGuide Mobile Robots.
The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the key products used in logistics operations, including AGVs, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), case-picking robots, and last-mile delivery robots. It also explores recent technological advancements and commercial transitions, such as the adoption of AMRs in warehouses with the introduction of Amazon’s first fully autonomous mobile robot, Proteus.
IDTechEx’s analysis extends to the technology behind mobile robots, examining components like LiDAR sensors, ultrasonic sensors, cameras, computer vision, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), and other navigation and sensing technologies. The report includes interviews with industry players, ranging from leading companies like Omron, MiR, and ForwardX Robotics to mid-sized companies and start-ups, discussing their unique technologies, value propositions, regulatory approvals, funding status, and flagship products.
An interesting transition mentioned in the report is the shift from AGVs to AMRs. While AGVs rely on fixed infrastructures like magnetic tapes, QR codes, and markers for navigation, AMRs equipped with SLAM technology provide more flexibility without the need for costly infrastructure setup. Amazon’s Proteus is a notable example of an AMR being used in warehouses.
In addition to these insights, the report presents 20-year market forecasts for mobile robotics in the logistics industry, including detailed breakdowns by application area and product categories. The market size of mobile robots is expected to reach approximately US$150 billion annually, offering significant opportunities for component suppliers, robot OEMs, and end-users.
With the continued advancements in technology and the increasing demand for automation in logistics operations, the mobile robotics industry is poised for continued growth and innovation in the coming years.
– IDTechEx’s market research report “Mobile Robotics in Logistics, Warehousing, and Delivery 2024-2044” (source URL: https://www.idtechex.com/)