The robotics investment evaluation dives into all primary robotics categories, including the following:
Industrial Robots: Refers to articulated, Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm (SCARA), parallel/delta, linear/cartesian, and other classes of industrial robots, such as cylindrical and polar robots.
Cobots: Refers to articulated robots specially designed to interact with human workers in a shared workplace. Featuring 6 Degrees of Freedom (DoF) or 7 DoF articulated arms, force sensing/force control, programming by demonstration, lightweight construction, integrated sensors (torque, vision, sonar, etc.), and software intelligence.
Mobile Robots: Refers to Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), which require external infrastructure to move, and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), which in principle can navigate an environment without the need for external infrastructure. There are also Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) that are designed to be remotely operated or teleoperated by human operators. Many robots are remotely-operated but have a high degree of autonomy and operate at least partially without the need for fiducial markers or magnetic tape and are, therefore, classed as AMRs.
UAV Systems: Refers to all Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) platforms and airframes, as well as products, and services that are ancillary to, and often necessary for, the use of Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (sUAVs), along with the many applications enabled by them.
Consumer Robots: Refers to robotic products and technologies purchased by individuals and used to educate, entertain, or provide assistance in the home. The consumer home care/lawn care robotics market includes autonomous or semi-autonomous robotics technologies that maintain the home environment. Examples of home care/lawn care robotics include robotic vacuums, pool cleaners, lawn mowers, and similar devices.
Exoskeleton: Refers to wearable electromechanical devices that are designed to enhance the physical performance of the users. Exoskeletons are deployed for various purposes, including rehabilitation and recovery, to mitigate injuries and disabilities, improve movement, and provide actionable employee intelligence.
Automating surgical procedures has emerged as a dominant trend in the robotics industry. Robotics surgical systems, which help surgeons perform complex procedures, received the most investment backing out of all individual technology types evaluated—a US$1.1 billion value. Moreover, investment is seen in various regions, highlighting the uniform demand for enhancing surgical operations.
Outdoor autonomous mobile robotics (AMRs) came in second in terms of investment value in the robotics industry with US$742 million in backing in 2021. Indoor mobile robotics closely trailed at US$649 million in investment value. Some of the key players for mobile robotics include Nuro (last-mile delivery), startups Fabric and inVia Robotics (warehousing), Gaussian Robotics (cleaning), Pudu and ForwardX Robotics (general purpose AMRs), to name a few.
Startups in the United States found the greatest favor in financial backing in 2021, with US$3 billion invested in U.S-based robotics companies. China, a clear runner-up, generated US$1 billion in investments. Some other notable regions include the United Kingdom (US$602 million), Israel (US$296 million), European Union (US$321 million), Singapore (US$301 million), and India (US$8 million).