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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

IFR World Robotics 2014

According to the latest robot statistics for 2013 and forecast 2014-2017 released by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) 2013 was a very successful year for new robot installations with the highest number of industrial (and service) robots ever sold.

Industrial robots

In 2013, industrial robot sales increased by 12% to 178,132 units, by far the highest level ever recorded for one year. Sales of industrial robots to the automotive, the chemical, and the rubber and plastics industries, as well as to the food industry continued to increase in 2013. The electrical/electronic industry also increased the number of robot installations in 2013 after the reduction of investments in 2012. China became the biggest robot market with a share of 20% of the total supply in 2013. About 70% of the total robot sales in 2013 were in Japan, China, the United States, Korea and Germany. Between 2008 and 2013 the average robot sales increase was at 9.5% per year (CAGR).

Professional service robots 

The total number of professional service robots sold in 2013 rose by a relatively low 4% compared to 2012 to 21,000 units up from 20,200 in 2012. The sales value slightly decreased by 1.9% to US$3.57 billion.

Service robots for personal and domestic

In 2013, about 4 million service robots for personal and domestic use were sold, 28% more than in 2012. The value of sales increased to US$1.7 billion.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Microsoft shuts down its robotics group

IEEE Spectrum reports that Microsoft seven years after Bill Gates predicted that robotics was the next hot field, shuts down its Robotics Group. It iseems to be the result of the ongoing reconstruction and refocusing of the company after the Nokia merger. Robotics continues to be a hot field to loose money as experienced earlier by Honda, Sony, Willow Garage and many others. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ABB unveils dual arm robot YuMi®

ABB, a global leader in power and automation technologies, har unveiled a human-friendly dual arm robot, called YuMi, designed for a new era of automation, for example in small parts assembly, where people and robots work hand-in-hand on the same tasks. YuMi is short for ‘you and me,’ working together. According to Pekka Tiitinen, head of the Discrete Automation and Motion division, “YuMi is going to change many of mankind’s assumptions about manufacturing and industrial processes.It will open endless possibilities and is the start of a very exciting new era for industrial automation.” YuMi will be commercially launched on April 13, 2015, at the Hannover Messe in Germany, the world’s largest industrial technology fair. Check out the promo video below.