Rise of Robots
A new report claims the market for humanoid robots will expand tenfold by 2023. Current estimates put its value at $320.3 million, but it's projected to reach $3.9 billion within the next six years.
Many of the major potential applications for the technology are found within the education sector and the retail industry, where robots will be able to take on a swathe of customer service roles. Robots are also expected to be used in fields such as logistics and medicine as a vessel for advanced artificial intelligence systems.
There are some obstacles that could potentially slow the predicted growth, though: For one, robots are not yet as mobile as they would need to be for many of these roles, so improving their ability to traverse a wide range of environments quickly and safely will be crucial over the next few years.
While North and South America are the biggest force in the robotics market, over the six years the the report covered, it was forecasted that the fastest rate of growth in the industry will actually be in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC).
"APAC is likely to adopt humanoids for almost all the major applications during the forecast period," reads the report. "As the elderly population in APAC countries such as China and Japan is on the rise, the region is expected to employ humanoids for the personal assistance and caregiving application."
More Human Than Human
We're already seeing robots become a part of our daily lives, albeit at a cautious pace. Everything from delivery services to police work is being considered as a potential job opportunity for machines.
However, humanoid robots have a particularly high potential for growth because they can take on tasks that were previously the domain of humans alone. Whether it's something as simple as holding a natural conversation, or a more complex role like providing care for an infant or an elderly person, there are times when a familiar presence is valued – even if the mind at work is a machine's.
It's no surprise that the market for this technology will skyrocket as robots become increasingly capable of mimicking some aspects of human behavior; an ability that will only continue to improve as technology and innovation advances.