Robots are poised to change the global business landscape. These guidelines will help your company capitalize on the technology and gain a sustainable edge. The interactive shows growth projections for four key industry sectors and how surging consumer demand caused our projections to be revised sharply upward.

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The global market for robotics—the use of computer-controlled robots to do manual tasks—is growing far faster than expected. In 2014, BCG projected that the market would reach $67 billion by 2025. In 2017, we increased that estimate to $87 billion. Much of the accelerated growth will come from the consumer market because of applications such as self-­driving cars and devices for the home. Projected growth in the commercial sector accounts for the rest of the adjustment.

Whether a company is considering robotics for the first time or made an earlier investment that didn’t pay off because of economics, limited capabilities, or untrained staff, ignoring developments in the field is risky. Robots are poised to change the global business landscape.

1. Uber

Uber is expanding beyond mobility solutions, and is beginning to become a robotics company. Evidence of its evolution can be seen in its acquisition of Otto for autonomous technology, and its recent hire of 30-year NASA veteran  Mark Moore to work on its self flying taxi project , Uber Elevate. The company has already begun exploring an on-demand helicopter-based taxi service with Airbus, which plans to release a prototype of an automation vertical take off and landing (VTOL) aircraft later this year.

2. Tesla

The manufacturing process uses more than 160 specialist robots, including 10 of the largest robots in the world, which are named after X-Men characters. Many of the Model S’s unique components, including the battery pack, battery module, and drive units are manufactured in-house.

3. Amazon

The future of Amazon’s logistics network will undoubtedly involve artificial intelligence and robotics, but it’s an open question at what point AI-powered machines will be doing a majority of the work. According to Scott Anderson, the company’s director of robotics fulfillment, the point at which an Amazon warehouse is fully, end-to-end automated is at least 10 years away. Anderson’s comments,reported today by Reuters, highlight the current pace of automation, even in environments that are ripe for robotic labor, like an Amazon warehouse.

4. DHL

Robotic and RPA innovations DHL has currently implemented to standardise its processes and increase productivity and efficiency include, ‘goods to person robots’ and ‘follow me robots’ to assist with the picking and transporting of products to reduce the miles covered by associates. In addition, DHL has also implemented wrapping robots reducing physical work; wearable devices to replace traditional barcode readers and picking devices; autonomous forklifts for moving pallets in warehouses; Neo Avidbots (cleaning robots) reducing unsociable and repetitive tasks and Sawyer robots (robotic arms) to reduce repetitive packing tasks. Inside these innovations is intuitive software, developed by DHL and its partners, which Voss believes will help to drive efficiency when it comes to the adoption of innovative technology.

5. Walmart

Walmart is ending its contract with the robotics company that provided shelf-scanning machines to stores. The retail giant is ending its contract with Bossa Nova Robotics and plans to replace the machines with human workers. The company provided robots to over 500 stores when the contract ended, according to Walmart.


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