The vast potential of the humanoid robot market was demonstrated by responses to Saudi Arabia granting citizenship to Hanson Robotics Ltd.’s Sophia last year. Not only is Sophia one of the most advanced androids to date, but the public also has high expectations of a multitude of possible uses.
Another recent example is the WALK-MAN from the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. The anthropomorphic robot was able to walk into a simulated disaster zone to successfully shut off a gas leak and put out a fire. Investments in the humanoid robot market are likely to increase, as some experts predict humanoids entering laboratories and homes. Global Market Insights has published a study analyzing where and how the humanoid robot market will grow.
Humanoid robot market outlook strong for retail, education
The retail industry is likely to emerge as a profitable application arena for humanoid robots. According to our study, retailers believe that humanoid robots can be suitably designed to provide customers with an enhanced shopping experience by giving recommendations based on their purchase history. For example, SoftBank Robotics’ Pepper is processing MasterCard orders this month at a Pizza Hut in Singapore.
The academic domain has also been proactively adopting these advanced devices for providing an improved learning experience. SoftBank Robotics’ other humanoid robot, Nao, is transforming how STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education is conducted in schools. It has also been touted to be of immense benefit for children with special needs.
Between enabling all-round development in the academic sector and acting as a bridge of communication for children with developmental disorders, humanoid robots have much to offer.
Humanoid robots can tend to healthcare needs
Humanoid robots equipped with proprietary “RxApplications” are garnering clinical popularity, especially in pediatric care. Interaction can reportedly help reduce pain by 50%. Humanoid robots can also function as companions during and after surgical procedures, using research on cognitive-behavioral interventions.
In fact, in recent times, humanoid robots have proven their skills in assisting the elderly. Currently, the Nao robot is in use at 200 assisted-living communities. It is undeniable that healthcare is a viable growth avenue for the humanoid robot market. The rising geriatric population across the globe will further stimulate the deployment of these robots in the medical care domain.
Defense sector still looking at walking robots
The defense sector is one of the strongest end-use domains for the humanoid robot market — not just in terms of replacing humans on the battlefield, but also for a host of other arduous tasks.
Incidentally, the U.S. military has successfully used unmanned aerial vehicles and some artificial intelligence in primary operations in the Middle East, and humanoid robots may not be far behind.
Boston Dynamics‘ Atlas was developed with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). Atlas was designed to conduct a variety of search and rescue operations and emergency services.
In addition to all-terrain quadruped models, the U.S. military hopes to use bipedal robots like Atlas to replace a portion of human troops and create the smallest army since the Second World War.
Private players have also been pursuing the defense and disaster-recovery portions of humanoid robot market with renewed gusto. In fact, their participation could facilitate faster collection of information and system development.
Partnerships between humanoid robot industry players and military agencies are maintained and encouraged by legislation, political motivation, and innovation.
Despite concerns about the appropriate use of AI, drones, and robots for military applications, these partnerships will be instrumental to the development of world-class military technology, as well as machines for the humanoid robot market.
The high costs of research and development and public wariness around humanoid robots are likely to slow market growth. Nonetheless, analyzing the extent of development programs and the likely usefulness of androids in myriad tasks, it would be a mistake to say that the humanoid robot market won’t demonstrate phenomenal growth in the ensuing years. Our study predicts target revenue of $5 billion (U.S.) by 2024.
For more details, see Global Market Insights’ report on the humanoid robot market.
About the author:
Paroma Bhattacharya currently works as a content developer for the market research industry at Global Market Insights. Fortified with a post-graduation degree in journalism and mass communication, she delved headlong into a writing career, creating resourceful and information enriched content in diverse fields.