Robotics isn’t a new field, but it’s grown and changed in lots of exciting ways over the last decade. Today, robots are constantly evolving their contributions to different fields and making a difference in efficiency, safety, and precision. And who’s responsible for all the exciting innovations
The startup scene in robotics changes quickly. Some of the brightest minds in the world are starting robotics companies and contributing to the field in many different ways. Here are some of the trends we’re seeing from entrepreneurs in the robotics space.
Entering New Industries
The potential for robotics in a wide range of industries is almost limitless. Smart entrepreneurs have found some of the best opportunities for using robots in new fields and are developing the technology to work in new industries.
One of the forces driving new growth in the robotics industry is the labor shortage, especially in the service industry. Some companies are experimenting with automation to reduce the workload on existing employees or to reduce the number of employees needed.
The good news for people who are worried about robots taking over their jobs is this: at this point, robots generally take over tasks that are repetitive, boring, dangerous, or dirty.
For example, healthcare robots are used for tasks like disinfecting equipment, transporting supplies, or preparing patient rooms. With so many companies finding it difficult to find and keep good workers, robots can be used to step in to support existing staff.
Reducing Barriers to Entry & Use
Robots require specialized knowledge to build, program, and maintain. Additionally, they are often built using expensive materials, making the benefits of robotics out of reach for the average small business owner or individual consumer.
Now that the industry has advanced, however, some entrepreneurs are working to break down these barriers and make robotics more
accessible. One of these new options is robotics as a service (RaaS).
Essentially, a robotics company uses a subscription model that provides robots, along with monitoring and maintenance, to streamline the process of adding robotics to an organization’s operations. This makes it easier for companies to leverage the benefits without the steep start-up costs.
Many robotics companies are focusing on making robots easier to use overall. This includes making more user-friendly interfaces and making it simpler to set up and use commercial robots. This shift is mimicking what happened as computer software became more widespread and accessible to the average person, and will lead to greater adoption of robotics in everyday life.
Single-use robots are effective and can help large organizations meet their goals. There are also highly specialized robots used in industries like healthcare and manufacturing, where high-volume precision is needed. However, many companies need automation solutions that are more flexible to justify their cost.
Multi-purpose robots can switch between tasks as needed, helping companies keep up with daily operations and boosting efficiency. It’s a growing segment of the market that will help spark interest in automation from small businesses and push the robotics industry out of niche markets.
Fully Autonomous Robots
Today’s robots are becoming highly sophisticated. In the last several years, developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) have led to advances in the development of fully autonomous robots. While AI hasn’t progressed enough for robots to replace humans, it has made great strides and will influence the field now and in the future.
The Rise of “Cobots”
It’s not necessarily realistic to fully automate a job with advanced robots, at least for the time being. Often, full automation is not effective enough or would be extremely expensive to achieve. Partial automation, however, can be a great compromise.
Innovative entrepreneurs are helping to fulfill the demand for partial automation by offering “cobots” (robots designed to work with humans) and assistive robots to help human workers do their jobs more efficiently.
Some examples are robotic suits to protect the bodies of workers who must lift and carry heavy objects all day long or robots designed to sort and package items.
Investments Are Increasing
Because of the exciting innovations in the robotics field, investors are taking notice of the entrepreneurs who are joining the industry. Investments in robotics startups are growing, which is fueling interest in the industry as a whole and inspiring more people to start new businesses.
Without adequate funding, industries stagnate. Ideas are not enough. Investors’ interest in new robotics ventures means that the industry is likely to see an even greater boom in the next few years.
By 2028, the industrial robotics market is projected to reach $31.13 billion, more than doubling from its 2020 value of $14.61 billion.
With the industry growing so quickly, companies are at risk of having their innovations stolen and used by other organizations. Companies are beginning to realize this and have started protecting their intellectual property (IP) with patents.
Using patents and other legal protections for their technology is how new companies can both attract investors and stand out from the competition. It’s much easier to succeed as a new business if no one else is offering the same type of technology as you are!
Robotics Entrepreneurs: Blazing New Trails to Improve Lives
The goal of new technology is to enhance our lives, and most people don’t realize just how influential robots already are in our everyday lives. Robots have the potential to improve our world in so many ways, and entrepreneurs are bringing their energy and creative thinking to the field to solve everyday problems and annoyances.
More and more people are becoming entrepreneurs and the field of robotics is advancing quickly, thanks to their passion and knowledge.
Not all robotics startups make it, of course. Some entrepreneurs have a good idea but don’t know how to execute it properly. Others have ideas that are too impractical, difficult to scale, or simply too ambitious.
However, even startups that don’t survive bring new innovations to the field. In the future, robots will play a huge role in our lives—even bigger than they already do.