Robots set to rule the roost

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) said that sales between 2018-2019 generated $11.2 billion, with prospects good for future growth.

And medical robot sales accounted for 47 percent of turnover in 2019 – robot surgery systems accounted for $5.3 billion – a rise of 28 percent from the year before.

Logistic robots, used in “smart” factories and in warehouses rose 110 percent in 2019 to generate $1.9 billion.

IFR predicts a turnover growth of 40 percent each year.

Many companies are leasing robots, avoiding fixed capital and no fixed costs.

Field robots used in agriculture increased by three percent – generating $1.3 billion. The IFR believes that robots could replace labourers travelling from Eastern Europe to Western Europe – a shortfall of humans working in the UK, for example, resulted in some farmers unable to harvest their crops.

Other growth areas include robots for domestic use – such as vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers.

Most manufacturers are based in the USA or Europe, said the IFR.