August 6, 2021
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) has announced that unit sales of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) in the logistics sector will increase by 31% between 2020 and 2023 annually. In addition, the use of AMRs in public environments will also rise rapidly – almost 40% per year worldwide – as well as professional cleaning robots (41% combined annual growth rate).
In a new paper, “A Mobile Revolution”, the IFR outlines how mobility is reshaping robotics, and why this is game-changing for many industries. “Mobile robots have traditionally operated in industrial settings to transport parts throughout the factory or feed machines,” said Milton Guerry, president of the IFR. “Today, AMRs also work in applications where contact with the general public is intended. They provide information to shoppers, deliver room service orders in hotels, or support police officers by patrolling city areas. IFR’s mobile revolution paper gives an overview of the main use cases for mobile robots and their most significant impacts.”
The IFR said that while researchers have worked on technologies for autonomous mobility since the 1940s, AMRs have only become commercially available over the last decade. This is primarily due to the availability of far more powerful and cheaper computing power, which has led to rapid developments in sensor, vision and analytics technologies that enable robots to connect in real-time to their environment.
“Mobile robotics is a dynamic field of development, and we expect exciting advances over the next decade,” said Guerry. “These advances will take place in both hardware and software. Mobile robots will become lighter and more flexible. AMRs and service robots will be able to navigate in a range of indoor and outdoor environments more easily as advances in sensors and software algorithms mean that navigation and vision become more and more precise.”
To get a free download of the report, click here.