What? You didn’t know that the market for new and improved robots is experiencing a huge boom right now? Where have you been?!
Yes, the robot industry is experiencing a boom that’s not likely to slow down anytime soon. A report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch released last week says that annual global sales of robots reached a record $10.7 billion in 2014. According to the authors of this study, there are expectations for the booming robot market to be worth $83 billion by 2020!
Fortune reports that there are many factors to this boom cycle for the robotic industry. Trends like lower costs, improved technology, and flexible parts are all linked to more robots being created and sold. Here are five interesting tidbits from the report that are sure to keep you invested in that robotics program in high school:
- Robots are getting cheaper and more powerful—Good things come to those who wait, it seems. The price for a typical robot is definitely dropping. Spending $100,000 for a robot today will get you a machine that can do twice as much as a similarly priced robot 10 years ago, the report says.
- China is looking to buy—China bought 57,000 robots in 2014, representing a quarter of all robots sold worldwide. This is the second year in a row that China led the world in buying robots as it plays catch-up to other countries. One of the reasons China is buying a lot of robots is because of an aging population and a decline in the overall labor force participation rate, the authors wrote. An influx of robots could help the country’s manufacturing sector compensate.
- The automotive industry is also buying a ton of robots—Since 2010, the automotive industry has led all other sectors in buying robots. The authors write that in 2014, auto companies bought almost one out of every two industrial robots sold. Some auto companies value their robots so much, they give them special names. Tesla, for example, names some of their robots after famous comic book superheroes like Wolverine and Professor X.
- Will robots take my job? Maybe…—OK, so there is some bad news included in this report. The authors said that it is likely robots will replace humans in many industries, pointing to the auto industry, in particular. But new jobs could emerge as robots free people from performing menial and repetitive tasks. Why feel like a robot at your job when you could work on a robot that now does your old job for you?
- Millennials love robots—and they’re more likely to trust them with finances! The finance industry is taking advantage of advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence to create so-called robo-analysts, essentially computers that calculate numbers and give financial advice to banking clients. Affluent millennials (we know you’re out there!) are more likely to “place a great deal of faith in technology compared to other generations and this is no different in financial advisory services,” says the report.
So there are many reasons to invest in robotics and get familiar with the advanced technologies that are out there right now. There’s no denying it—the robots are definitely coming!