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Global robot population heads towards two million

30 September, 2014

The fastest-growing region for robots is Asia with sales expected to grow by about 21% during 2014. Sales to the Americas will increase by 11%, driven by increasing demand from North America and Brazil, while installations in Europe will rise by just 6%. In some European countries, sales will stagnate this year.

According to the IFR, around 50,000 robots will be sold in China during 2014 – about a quarter of the global total. Between 2015 and 2017, it expects the Chinese market to expand by at least 25% per year to reach 100,000 machines by 2017, taking the total number of robots installed in China to more than 400,000. It reports that growing numbers of Chinese robot manufacturers are entering the market and predicts that competition with foreign suppliers will increase.

Annual global sales of industrial robots. The figures from 2014-2017 are forecasts.
Source: IFR World Robotics 2014

IFR expects new markets to emerge for industrial robots in applications such battery-charging stations for electric vehicles, and the production of the high-power batteries to provide energy storage to buffer renewable energy sources.

•  In a separate report, the IFR says that about 21,000 service robots for professional use were sold worldwide in 2013 – 4% more than in 2012. Over the period 2014–2017, its expects sales to increase to about 134,500, with an estimated value of $18.9bn.

During 2013, about four million service robots for personal and domestic use, worth about $1.7bn, were sold worldwide – 28% more than in 2012. IFR estimates that about 31 million service robots for personal use will be sold between 2014 and 2017.

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