Mobile robot makers are located around the world, from Waltham, Mass., to Beijing.
Many makers of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are relatively young. Most were started in the past decade, if not the past five years. But even though they are young, they are actively reshaping manufacturing and warehouse operations.
Interact Analysis reported that about 100,000 mobile robots were shipped globally last year. That's the highest ever sold. That includes automated guided vehicles (AGVs) as well as AMRs.
AMR sales strong in response to pandemic, labor shortage
The rising adoption of mobile robots is in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortages, and the acceleration of online ordering, said Ash Sharma, managing director at Interact Analysis and author of the report.
Because more companies are choosing to automate, “this has caused sales in mobile robots to spiral, with nearly 70% more vehicles shipped than the year before and a 36% increase in revenues, which rose to nearly $3 billion,” he wrote.
“It is reguarly claimed that robots will steal jobs from people,” Sharma added. “But in a post-COVID world, we are seeing the opposite: Robots are filling gaps left by widespread labor shortages. This is particuarly the case in e-commerce warehouses.”
Check out the slideshow on the right (bottom on mobile) highlighting some of the biggest players in this space.