COVID-19 Provides Use Cases for Mobile Robotics

30 Apr, 2020

As everyone around the world tries to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers are struggling to keep themselves healthy and the rest of us (hopefully) continue to maintain our distance. It’s a good time to remember the three Ds of robotics—dirty, dull, and dangerous. Sales of medical robots had already increased by 50% in 2018, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). But the coronavirus outbreak highlights some key use cases for mobile robotics in particular as robotic systems move in to disinfect facilities, provide surveillance, material handling, and help with deliveries.

Mobile robots are so much in demand for these use cases right now—driven by a shift in understanding of what these platforms can do—that tech market advisory firm ABI Research expects the overall mobile robotics market to grow to $23 billion by 2021. “Crises shift perceptions on what is possible regarding investment and transformative action on the part of both private and government actors,” said Rian Whitton, senior analyst at ABI Research. “By the time the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, robots will be mainstreamed across a range of applications and markets.”

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