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IFR presents World Robotics Report 2022 #WorldRobotics
Frankfurt, Oct 13, 2022 — The new World Robotics report shows an all-time high of 517,385 new industrial robots installed in 2021 in factories around the world. This represents a growth rate of 31% year-on-year and exceeds the pre-pandemic record of robot installation in 2018 by 22%. Today, the stock of operational robots around the globe hits a new record of about 3.5 million units.”
“The use of robotics and automation is growing at a breathtaking speed,” says Marina Bill, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “Within six years, annual robot installations more than doubled. According to our latest statistics, installations grew strongly in 2021 in all major customer industries, although supply chain disruptions as well as different local or regional headwinds hampered production.”
Asia, Europe and the Americas – overview
Asia remains the world’s largest market for industrial robots. 74% of all newly deployed robots in 2021 were installed in Asia (2020: 70%).
Installations for the region´s largest adopter China grew strongly by 51% with 268,195 units shipped. Every other robot installed globally in 2021 was deployed here. The operational stock broke the 1-million-unit mark (+27%). This high growth rate indicates the rapid speed of robotization in China.
Japan remained second to China as the largest market for industrial robots. Installations were up 22% in 2021 with 47,182 units. Japan’s operational stock was 393,326 units (+5%) in 2021. After two years of declining robot installations in all major industries, numbers began growing again in 2021. Japan is the world´s predominant robot manufacturing country: Exports of Japanese industrial robots achieved a new peak level at 186,102 units in 2021.
The Republic of Korea was the fourth largest robot market in terms of annual installations, following the US, Japan and China. Robot installations increased by 2% to 31,083 units in 2021. This followed four years of declining installation figures. The operational stock of robots was computed at 366,227 units (+7%).
Robot installations in Europe were up 24% to 84,302 units in 2021. This represents a new peak. Demand from the automotive industry was steady, while demand from the general industry was up by 51%. Germany, which belongs to the five major robot markets in the world, had a share of 28% of total installations in Europe. Italy followed with 17% and France with 7%.
The number of installed robots in Germany grew by 6% to 23,777 units in 2021. This is the second highest installation count ever recorded, following the peak caused by massive investments from the automotive industry in 2018 (26,723 units). The operational stock of robots was calculated at 245,908 units (+7%) in 2021. Exports of industrial robots from Germany were up 41% to 22,870 units, exceeding the pre-pandemic level.
Italy is the second largest robot market in Europe after Germany. The main growth driver between 2016 and 2021 was the general industry with an annual average growth rate of 8%. The operational stock of robots was computed at 89,330 units (+14%) in 2021. The 2021 results were driven by catch-up effects and earlier purchases due to a reduction of tax credits in 2022. This created a 65% increase of robot installations to a new record level of 14,083 units in 2021.
The robot market in France ranked third in Europe in 2021 regarding annual installations and operational stock, following Italy and Germany. In 2021, robot installations increased by 11% to 5,945 units. The operational stock of robots in France was calculated at 49,312 units, a 10% increase over the previous year.
In the United Kingdom, industrial robot installations were down by 7% to 2,054 units. The operational stock of robots was calculated at 24,445 units (+6%) in 2021. This is less than a tenth of Germany´s stock. The automotive industry reduced installations by 42% to 507 units in 2021.
In 2021, 50,712 industrial robots were installed in the Americas, 31% more than in 2020. This is a remarkable recovery from the pandemic dip in 2020 and the second time that robot installations in the Americas exceeded the 50,000-unit mark, with 55,212 units in 2018 setting the benchmark.
New installations in the United States were up by 14% to 34,987 units in 2021. This exceeded the pre-pandemic level of 33,378 units in 2019 but was still considerably lower than the peak level of 40,373 units in 2018. The automotive industry is still by far the number one adopter with 9,782 units installed in 2021. However, demand had been continuously declining for five years (2016-2021). In 2021 installations were down 7% compared to 2020. Installations in the metal and machinery industry surged by 66% to 3,814 units in 2021, putting this industry into second place in terms of robot demand. The plastic and chemical products industry had 3,466 robots (+30%) newly installed in 2021. The food and beverage industry installed 25% more robots, reaching a new peak level of 3,402 units in 2021. The robotics industry offers hygienic solutions that experienced growing demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rising energy prices, intermediate product prices and scarcity of electronic components are challenging all branches of the global economy. But order books are full and demand for industrial robots has never been higher. In total, global robot installations are expected to grow by 10% to almost 570,000 units in 2022. The post-pandemic boom experienced in 2021 is expected to fade out in 2022. From 2022 to 2025, average annual growth rates in the medium to upper single-digit range are forecast.
Orders for World Robotics 2022 Industrial Robots and Service Robots reports can be placed online. Further downloads on the content are available here.
Hannover, 31. August 2022 – Am 10. und 11. September treffen sich auf der achten Maker Faire im HCC wieder DIY-YouTuber und geben Einblicke in ihre Maker-Welt. Auch etliche Cosplayer haben sich zum Festival verabredet, um dort ihre farbenfrohen, aufwändig hergestellten Kostüme zu präsentieren. Leuchtende Exponate haben die verschiedenen Lichtkünstler im Gepäck, mit denen sie die Besucherinnen und Besucher in der Dark Gallery verzaubern wollen.
Maker Faire – das heißt anfassen, ausprobieren, voneinander lernen und vernetzen: Auch in der achten Auflage der Maker Faire ist das Angebot der rund 1000 ausstellenden Maker vielfältig. Bereits zum vierten Mal sind Szene-YouTuber aus dem Genre DIY/Handwerk zu Gast. Angekündigt hat sich die bekannte Makerin Laura Kampf, die gemeinsam mit „HABU“, Felix Schelhasse, Franks Shed, Jonas Winkler und Karoline Hinz an den Paneltalks am Samstag um 16:30 Uhr und am Sonntag um 12:10 Uhr teilnehmen wird.
Sie heißen Babyroods, Karamelori, Anxietea.exeoder weeiiird.cos und lieben es, fiktive Charaktere durch ihre Cosplays in die Realität zu holen. Die Cosplayerinnen sowie Instagram- und TikTok-Stars nutzen die Maker Faire, um ihre ausgefallenen Kostümideen vorzustellen und über ihre Vorbilder aus Animes, Mangas oder Videospielen zu erzählen.
In der Dark Gallery – die verdunkelte Halle gibt es nach 2019 zum zweiten Mal auf der Maker Faire – sind es vor allem Jonas Vorwerk, Teammitglieder von Tim Davies, die jungen Maker von ARTandTECH.space, Jürgen Klöck und Franz Betz, die als Lichtkünstler faszinierende Projekte mitgebracht haben.
Ein Hingucker ist „Pixels“, eine interaktive Lichtinstallation von Jonas Vorwerk , einem niederländischem Multimedia-Künstler, der sich audiovisueller Kunst mit Schwerpunkt Interaktion widmet. Pixels besteht aus verschiedenen LED-Blöcken, die bei Interaktion die Farbe und Intensität wechseln und von den Besuchern vielfältig zu verschiedenen Kreationen zusammengebaut werden können.
Als unübersehbares Highlight gleitet ISO durch die Dark Gallery: ein sieben Meter langes und fünf Meter hohes Monster, das einer Tiefsee-Assel ähnelt und vollständig mit LEDs beleuchtet wird. Das Projekt stammt von Tim Davies, einem britischen Bildhauer und Ingenieur mit Vorliebe für großformartige kinetische Kreaturen. Iso wird von einer Person gesteuert, die dem Unterwassertier Leben einhaucht.
Das Projektlabor Berufskolleg Rheine und die Jugendkunstschule Rheine präsentieren viele ausgefallene Lichtobjekte, die im ARTandTECH.space entstanden sind. Jürgen Klöckstellt seine Upcycling-Ideen – er baut aus schrottreifen Geräten warm leuchtende Lampen – ebenfalls in der Dark Gallery vor.
Zudem können große und kleine Besucher die Discokugel aus CDs bestaunen, die der stadtbekannte Lichtbildhauer Franz Betz im vergangenen Jahr als Außenwette der digitalen Maker Faire gebaut hat. Der Hannoveraner wird nicht nur das Schwarmkunstwerk mit einem Durchmesser von zwei Metern präsentieren, sondern gemeinsam mit Besuchern weitere kleine Discokugeln bauen und so die Halle zum Strahlen bringen.
Veo Robotics’ 2022 Manufacturing Automation Outlook finds that human-robot collaboration has risen for 6 out of 10 manufacturers in the last year, as facilities turn to automation to supplement workers
57% of global manufacturers believe that robots are not replacing human workers in their facilities, but rather working alongside humans to supplement their work. This is one of the significant findings from Veo Robotics’ 2022 Manufacturing Automation Outlook, released today by the industrial automation company that created FreeMove®, a comprehensive 3D safeguarding system for industrial robots that powers dynamic human-robot collaboration.
The Outlook also found that 61% of manufacturers say that human-robot interaction within their facilities has increased over the last year. The data point highlights how humans increasingly work alongside robot co-workers post-pandemic as manufacturers grapple with inflation, ongoing supply chain issues, and unprecedented labor shortages. Nearly all manufacturers are looking to automate more operations, including turning to robots to handle mundane, repetitive, or overly risky tasks.
With North American robot purchases reaching a record high in 2021, and global sales expected to increase to $31B by 2028, Veo Robotics surveyed more than 500 manufacturers across the US, UK, and Japan to inform the Outlook and explore how these organizations are integrating robots into their workforce, as well as the resulting impacts on facilities and their human workers. As speculation about the effect of robots on local jobs markets continues to contribute to mixed public opinion, Veo Robotics’ data suggests most manufacturing professionals do not believe that their jobs are at risk due to the increased adoption of robots.
“Our findings highlight that the majority of manufacturers are increasing automation with the goal of robots working alongside human co-workers rather than directly replacing them,” said Patrick Sobalvarro, CEO and co-founder of Veo Robotics. “We find that using robots increases the productivity and the value of human workers, freeing them to use their intelligence, judgment, and dexterity in their work.”
The rise in interactions between human and machine co-workers also necessitates new safeguarding methods that don’t hinder productivity. Although 63% of manufacturers told Veo Robotics that they were at least “moderately satisfied” with their safety when interacting with robots, most (41%) say they keep their robots in fully-fenced, caged environments to prevent injury or harm to human workers. This reliance on fully caged robots often hinders modern manufacturing facilities‘ speed, efficiency, and flexibility.
In fact, 44% of manufacturers note that their workers need to enter workcells at least every 1-2 hours, making it unsurprising that 63% also report that their current workcell safeguarding solutions pose challenges in the form of limiting flexibility, increasing human workloads, constraining space, and slowing down production time.
Additional highlights from Veo Robotics’ 2022 Manufacturing Automation Outlook include:
Over 55% of manufacturers report having ten or more robots in their facilities, with nearly one in three (32%) saying they have 30 or more
81% of manufacturers said they deal with robot-led production shutdowns
More than a fifth of respondents said that nuisance faults with their current robot workcell safeguarding methods cause production to shut down at least every couple of hours
As inflation hits manufacturers, 33% of respondents noted that “reducing the cost and complexity of manufacturing” was one of their biggest challenges over the next six months to a year
Other manufacturers noted that supply chain constraints (34%) and hiring and training of skilled workers (37%) were still their biggest problems
“Innovation being embraced within industrial processes is a great sign. But as the machine workforce evolves, so must the work environment,“ added Sobalvarro. “Modern manufacturing facilities and warehouses do not have the time to halt production in every situation where a human worker needs to enter a cage. A much more efficient and flexible safeguarding method is Speed & Separation Monitoring (SSM), which enables workers to interact safely with robots without entering the caged work environment. With SSM, manufacturers can prioritize safety and productivity without sacrificing one for the other.”
Read the full Veo Robotics 2022 Manufacturing Automation Outlook here.
About Veo Robotics
Veo Robotics is an industrial automation company building comprehensive sensing and intelligence for robots to collaborate with humans safely. It is the creator of FreeMove®, a comprehensive 3D safeguarding system for industrial robots that powers dynamic human-robot interactions. FreeMove enables fluid, efficient, and flexible production lines. Veo currently partners with the world’s four major robot manufacturers FANUC, Yaskawa, ABB, and Kuka. To learn more, please visit http://www.veobot.com.
The Festo-MassRobotics Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program celebrates the milestones achieved by the program’s four selected global startups at the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum. Key life sciences and robotics speakers to lead the event.
The successful Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program came to an end on April 7th, 2022. The concluding ceremony will be held at the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, on May 11, 2022. The event includes an impressive line-up of speakers: Fady Saad, Co-founder & Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at MassRobotics; Alfons Riek, Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Festo; Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, President & Chief Operating Officer at MassBio; Kenn Turner, President and CEO at Mass Life Sciences Center; and Brian Johnson, President at MassMedic. All four selected startup companies, Kinarm (Canada), Assistive Technology Development Inc. (United States), Eureka Robotics (Singapore), and Bionomous (Switzerland ) will, in turn, promote their companies, along with their products and service offerings. They will also be demonstrating their technologies on the event’s expo floor.
In October 2021, MassRobotics, Festo, and other key players in healthcare robotics, launched a Startup Catalyst Program to advance healthcare robotics companies around the world, by providing the networking opportunities, guidance, and resources they need to grow and succeed. The aim of the program was to connect healthcare robotics startups with customers, investors, suppliers, marketing, and overall support. The program focused on startups in the areas of clinical care, public safety, laboratory, supply chain automation, out-of-hospital care, quality of life, as well as continuity of work and education, and training and support for healthcare professionals.
More than 30 companies applied from all over the world, and the selection committee invited four to join in the program. The participating startups completed impressive milestones, as detailed below:
Eureka Robotics develops and commercializes cutting-edge robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to automate high-accuracy, high-agility tasks. Eureka is currently completing fundraising rounds in Japan through connections provided by program mentors. Eureka was introduced to MassRobotics partner, Mitsubishi Electric, and signed a global partnership with Mitsubishi as a platinum partner. The program helped the company’s leadership to explore attractive applications in surgical lenses manufacturing technology, which is an extension to its focus on traditional manufacturing.
Bionomous provides laboratory equipment to automate the screening, sorting, and pipetting of miniature biological entities for more ethical and faster research in life science. CEO Frank Bonnet reports that with the aid of the Catalyst Program, Bionomous was able to run a pilot program in the US, leading to the company’s first sales outside Europe. This convinced Bionomous to expand into the US market and set up offices in the MassRobotics space in Boston. Bonnet emphasized the importance of the program’s mentors, who connected them to key industry leaders to open possibilities for future partnerships.
Assistive Technology Development Inc. is an American startup dedicated to at-home physical therapy solutions that are operable at a low cost and always accessible to rural patients and those who need closer monitoring for recovery. The company came into the program with three goals: 1) begin its first pilot study in a clinical setting; 2) downsize the actuation unit to a wearable form, and 3) raise capital. CEO Todd Roberts reports that with help from the program, the company has completed the first two milestones and is making progress on the third. It will begin phase I of a pilot study with UCHealth, a not-for-profit health care system, headquartered in Aurora, Colorado, on April 25th, allowing the company to present preliminary results at the keynote event at the Healthcare Conference. The study will assess the early clinical efficacy and collect patient and clinician feedback. Assistive’s actuation unit has been downsized by 70%, from a large, wall-powered, benchtop system to a wearable, battery-powered system that will enable the company to complete the pilot. Finally, Assistive is in the process of raising capital and has begun diligence with two firms.
Kinarm uses robotic arms to provide an objective assessment method to identify, measure, and track cognitive motor or sensory impairments resulting from injury or disease. Kinarm worked with assigned mentors from the robotics ecosystem who provided introductions to industry leaders who responded with “jaw-dropping, you-can-do-that?” exclamations, reports Anne Vivian-Scott, CEO. Vivian-Scott was also introduced to experienced healthcare robotics leaders who will collaboratively aid Kinarm as the company scales its solutions. Vivian-Scott adds, “What we gained was not specific knowledge that can be encoded into our product, but direction. Quite frankly, most other programs are not ‘sufficiently vested’ in the participant’s business/opportunity to be able to offer such feedback.”
“I am grateful to Festo’s pioneering work to support our efforts to find global disrupting applications and startups in such a human-care field like healthcare, including life science, biotech, and medical devices,” said Fady Saad of MassRobotics.
“I am impressed with the quality of applications we received, and the unique structure of the program that allowed us to select such innovative companies and match them with world-class advisors,” said Festo’s Alfons Riek. “Certainly, we are excited about the networking opportunities opened to these companies and to presenting them to the world as great examples of the power of utilizing robotics in healthcare.”
MassRobotics, Festo, and additional corporations plan to launch the second version of the program by July 2022 to build on the programs’ amazing momentum and impact.
ABOUT MassRobotics: MassRobotics is the result of the collective work of a group of engineers, rocket scientists, and entrepreneurs with a shared vision to create an innovation hub and startup cluster focused on the needs of the robotics and IoT community. MassRobotics’ mission is to help create and scale the next generation of successful robotics and connected devices companies by providing entrepreneurs and innovative robotics/automation startups with the workspace and resources they need to develop, prototype, test, and commercialize their products and solutions. See www.massrobotics.org for details.
About Festo: Festo is a global player and an independent family-owned company with headquarters in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. Festo has set standards in industrial automation technology and technical education ever since its establishment, thereby making a contribution to the sustainable development of the environment, the economy, and society. The company supplies pneumatic and electrical automation technology to 300,000 customers of factory and process automation in over 35 industries. The LifeTech sector with medical technology and laboratory automation is becoming increasingly important. The products and services are available in 176 countries. With about 20,000 employees in over 250 branch offices in 61 countries worldwide, Festo achieved a turnover of around €2.84 billion in 2020. Each year around 8 % of this turnover is invested in research and development. In this learning company, 1.5 % of turnover is invested in basic and further training. Festo Didactic SE is a leading provider of technical education and training and offers its customers worldwide comprehensive digital and physical learning solutions in the industrial environment.
Establishing human-robot trust isn’t always easy. Beyond the fear of automation going rogue, robots simply don’t communicate how they are doing. When this happens, establishing a basis for humans to trust robots can be difficult.
Now, research is shedding light on how autonomous systems can foster human confidence in robots. Largely, the research suggests that humans have an easier time trusting a robot that offers some kind of self-assessment as it goes about its tasks, according to Aastha Acharya, a Draper Scholar and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Acharya said we need to start considering what communications are useful, particularly if we want to have humans trust and rely on their automated co-workers. “We can take cues from any effective workplace relationship, where the key to establishing trust is understanding co-workers’ capabilities and limitations,” she said. A gap in understanding can lead to improper tasking of the robot, and subsequent misuse, abuse or disuse of its autonomy.
To understand the problem, Acharya joined researchers from Draper and the University of Colorado Boulder to study how autonomous robots that use learned probabilistic world models can compute and express self-assessed competencies in the form of machine self-confidence. Probabilistic world models take into account the impact of uncertainties in events or actions in predicting the potential occurrence of future outcomes.
In the study, the world models were designed to enable the robots to forecast their behavior and report their own perspective about their tasking prior to task execution. With this information, a human can better judge whether a robot is sufficiently capable of completing a task, and adjust expectations to suit the situation.
To demonstrate their method, researchers developed and tested a probabilistic world model on a simulated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission for an autonomous uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV). The UAV flew over a field populated by a radio tower, an airstrip and mountains. The mission was designed to collect data from the tower while avoiding detection by an adversary. The UAV was asked to consider factors such as detections, collections, battery life and environmental conditions to understand its task competency.
Findings were reported in the article “Generalizing Competency Self-Assessment for Autonomous Vehicles Using Deep Reinforcement Learning,” where the team addressed several important questions. How do we encourage appropriate human trust in an autonomous system? How do we know that self-assessed capabilities of the autonomous system are accurate?
Human-machine collaboration lies at the core of a wide spectrum of algorithmic strategies for generating soft assurances, which are collectively aimed at trust management, according to the paper. “Humans must be able to establish a basis for correctly using and relying on robotic autonomy for success,” the authors said. The team behind the paper includes Acharya’s advisors Rebecca Russell, Ph.D., from Draper and Nisar Ahmed, Ph.D., from the University of Colorado Boulder.
The research into autonomous self-assessment is based upon work supported by DARPA’s Competency-Aware Machine Learning (CAML) program.
In addition, funds for this study were provided by the Draper Scholar Program. The program gives graduate students the opportunity to conduct their thesis research under the supervision of both a faculty adviser and a member of Draper’s technical staff, in an area of mutual interest. Draper Scholars’ graduate degree tuition and stipends are funded by Draper.
Since 1973, the Draper Scholar Program, formerly known as the Draper Fellow Program, has supported more than 1,000 graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in engineering and the sciences. Draper Scholars are from both civilian and military backgrounds, and Draper Scholar alumni excel worldwide in the technical, corporate, government, academic, and entrepreneurship sectors.
At Draper, we believe exciting things happen when new capabilities are imagined and created. Whether formulating a concept and developing each component to achieve a field-ready prototype, or combining existing technologies in new ways, Draper engineers apply multidisciplinary approaches that deliver new capabilities to customers. As a nonprofit engineering innovation company, Draper focuses on the design, development and deployment of advanced technological solutions for the world’s most challenging and important problems. We provide engineering solutions directly to government, industry and academia; work on teams as prime contractor or subcontractor; and participate as a collaborator in consortia. We provide unbiased assessments of technology or systems designed or recommended by other organizations—custom designed, as well as commercial-off-the-shelf. Visit Draper at http://www.draper.com.