Robots/Automation Devices

Published - Jun 2003| Analyst - William Pritchard| Code - ENG001A
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Report Highlights

  • By 2007, the robotics market will be a $16 billion industry.
  • Great gains will be seen in the realm of nanopositioning robotic tools.
  • Robots that perform hazardous and tedious duties will see extremely attractive growth rates.
  • Autonomous mechanical creatures will find their way into current environments.


No longer the stuff of science fiction and fantasy, robots have assumed a place of prominence in tedious and repetitive manufacturing environments. Traditional “grip and stack” robots continue to endear themselves to cost- and time-critical production sectors. Exponential progress in the scale, reliability and accuracy of sensing technologies, however, has pushed robotics away from the clockwork of assembly lines and into the more social realms of pure home automation and molecular-level medical technology. Many forecast documents deal exclusively with one kind of robot, either the type used in industrial processes or the more mobile robots used in specialized nonindustrial applications. This BCC report, however, is unique in that it treats the robotics industry as a whole. It provides a commercial understanding of the entire robot industry, through research, manufacturing processes, distribution and use, and creates more than the usual snapshot of the commercial realities that only apply to a small portion of this expansive industry. The study tackles not only the present and future of now ubiquitous industrial robots, but also the commercial potentials of the more esoteric robots that walk, talk, swim, kill and entertain.

In addition, this study was catalyzed by obvious changes in certain sectors of the robot industry. These changes are closely linked to the terrorist events of 2001. The robotics industry, for the most part, took a nosedive in 2001 along with most other global enterprises. An important objective for this report, therefore, is to determine if (and how) the robotics industry can return to its heyday at the turn-of-the-century, or at least back into solid profitability.

BCC presents a report that is all-encompassing in terms of treatment given the individual sectors of the robotics industry. It deals thoroughly with technology possibilities, technology restraints, emerging and near-term technologies, national and international issues and regulations, key companies and organizations, and thoughtful forecasts for technologies, applications and industries. Manufacturers currently making and using robots, those toying with the possibility of robotics adoption, and others thinking of upgrading to current in-place systems will find the insights in this report invaluable.


This BCC report:

  • thoroughly defines all sectors of the robot manufacturing industry
  • defines current and emerging technologies
  • shows markets and their technologies, and which hold promise for future investment
  • presents knowledgeable five year forecasts for markets, applications and technologies
  • provides a strategic understanding of key players in the robot industry
  • presents a global picture of the industry, its cultures, laws and nation-specific environments.


Sources for this report include government publications, refereed journal articles, survey interviews with pertinent industry members, trade publications, information from previous forecast reports, and Internet searches.

The methodology for this report includes quantitative procedures based on multiple linear regression models (for forecasts), as well as the analysis of surveys gathered from 81 researchers, manufacturers, and distributors of robotics technologies. These surveys provided valuable insight into the present conditions and future possibilities of many of the robotics technologies discussed here.

In addition, journal and trade magazines provided up-to-the-minute understandings of certain advances in robotics pursuits.


Dr. William T. Pritchard is Assistant Professor of Communications at Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA, and teaches marketing, marketing research, and public relations courses to undergraduate and graduate students. He draws heavily on 15 years of marketing and advertising field experience for the Federal government and private sector clients. He has lectured extensively throughout the United States on emerging computer and automation technologies.

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