Robotics and automation are the building blocks of modern-day human conveniences. Technological advancements in robotics have simplified many labor-intensive industrial procedures while retaining the authenticity and efficiency of products and services.
The development of robotic components is one of the most crucial factors of technological and economic growth in the context of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) and globalization, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. In recent years, China has become the world’s leading market for industrial robots. This accelerated growth is credited to reduced labor costs, increased labor productivity, and ensuring product quality control.
According to the International Federation of Robotics, China’s operational stock of industrial robots increased by 21% and reached around 783,000 units in 2019. Japan ranks second with over 355,000 units in 2019. However, it is India that has showcased a nearly two-fold growth in the adoption of industrial robots within five years, achieving record figures of 26,300 units.
Such expedited adoption of robots has proved beneficial for the Asia Pacific robot sensor market, which is expected to register a valuation of over USD 1.9 billion by 2028, based on estimates from a Graphical Research report.
The growing importance of collaborative robots
Analyzing the type of robots, the robot sensors are primarily helpful for collaborative robots in the APAC region. Companies adopt collaborative robot arms instead of using conventional programmable robots due to their space efficiency, affordability, and ease of use. Collaborative robots, or cobots, can accelerate the production process and easily compensate for the lack of skilled labor, which is a prevalent issue in the Asia Pacific.
According to Korn Ferry, the Asia Pacific region is predicted to witness a labor shortage of around 47 million by 2030, which will prominently be observed in Japan and China. Therefore, these countries will increase their procurement of collaborative robots and create a favorable outlook for the Asia Pacific robot sensor market.
Robots in the healthcare sector
The healthcare sector faced an immense crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus impacted human health to a great extent, creating a dearth of skilled personnel across the sector. This, however, proved to be beneficial for the robot sensor industry in the Asia Pacific, with the usage of robots being encouraged for medical applications, with supportive factors including the rollout of 5G networks and lower hardware costs.
Robots are well-suited to look after COVID-19 patients as they can be operated remotely. Many hospital organizations have thus been integrating robotic support across the Asia Pacific. In China, robots are also being used to perform various tasks such as food preparation and cleaning jobs in infected areas to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Moreover, robots are helping to enforce social distancing measures in Singapore where officials are piloting the robot dogs of Boston Dynamics to remind the general population about the importance of maintaining a physical distance.
Doctors across the Asia Pacific are increasingly using robots to monitor their patients remotely. Citing an instance, engineering students at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand repurposed ninja robots to measure the fevers of patients and help doctors remotely communicate with their patients. With this increase in the adoption of robots in the medical sector, as well as the expanding scope of robotics in industrial applications, the Asia Pacific robot sensor market is expected to witness an upward trend over the coming years.