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Interact Analysis Mobile Robot Report 2020 

 September 25, 2020

By  Mike Oitzman

Market analysis firm Interact Analysis released the much anticipated 2020 Mobile Robot Market report this week. The report is authored by senior research director Ash Sharma, who has built his reputation at Interact Analysis by producing accurate views of the mobile robot market over the last couple of years. I got to know Ash Sharma two years ago at the Automate Show, when we shared the presentation stage while educating the attendees about mobile robots and the state of the market.

The Interact Analysis Mobile Robot Report 2020 Predictions

This report is Sharma's third report covering the mobile robot market. According to the Interact Analysis website, the report was build by interviewing more than 50+ vendors globally. This thoughtful analysis is what sets this report a part from many of the other, low-quality, market reports on the market. The report uses the methodology of a bottoms up analysis of units sold, to forecast up to 2024 based on short-term orders for vendors and the Interact Analysis in-house model.

In this years report, Sharma makes the following observations and predictions about the mobile robot market:

  • Industry growth accelerated in 2019 with revenues of both growing strongly.  The total market reached nearly $2bn. Nearly 50,000 mobile robots were shipped in 2019.
  • The AMR industry saw huge growth in 2019 due to the wider rollout of robots at customer sites which had undertaken proof of concepts in prior years. The expansion of single site of 30 AMRs to 6-7 sites using 50 AMRs is not uncommon. 
  • AMR revenues are predicted to grow by 45% in 2020 and AGV revenues by 11% despite the pandemic
  • Nearly 20,000 AMRs to support order fulfillment were shipped in 2019.
  • AMR conveyor revenues are forecast to grow rapidly over the next five years as these products replace conveyor belts, manual carts and forklifts.

(Note: the bullet points above are taken directly from the report marketing page)

What We Think About The Interact Analysis Mobile Robot Report 2020

Sharma observes that the market is maturing now as many customer wrap up pilot projects in which they've been testing the viability of mobile robots within their facility. This is great news for the autonomous mobile robot (AMR) market as a whole and AMR vendors specifically.

I can confirm that this first statement also syncs with the general feedback that I received while interviewing vendor executives and researching the 2020 Mobile Robot Buyers Guide that we recently released. It also correlates with the recent news that we've been reporting, highlighting additional funding for robotic startups, despite the pandemic and a sagging worldwide economy.

Looking at the Mobile Robot Guide database, there are currently more than 200 logistics AMR vehicles on the market, and more than 130 warehouse AMR vehicles on the market. The warehouse and logistics markets are primarily what Sharma is tracking in this report.

The other observation about expansion of single sites, in the Interact Research marketing points above is that many AMR companies are releasing real customer use case studies describing large scale deployments. Vendors are also documenting significant milestones in deployment (as seen in the Locus Robotics 200M pick milestone). All of this confirms the trend that many AMR customers are moving from small pilots into large, full scale deployments. 

Most AMR vendors would love to jump directly to large scale deployments and skip the pilot projects. It is expensive to sell and support small scale deployments. But as the market scales to larger numbers of AMRs on the warehouse and manufacturing floor, it validates the fact that the software and hardware have matured to an appropriate level of acceptance.

Undoubtedly, the next phase around the corner will be consolidation of the market as successfully AMR companies feed off the benefits of the large scale deployments, while some startups and small companies fail to get "out of the gates". In "chasm-speak", many of the AMR applications have "crossed the chasm" and are starting to find success with "main street" buyers. It's likely that the warehouse market for AMRs is one of the first markets to reach this milestone.

Lastly, we've observed that the conveyor-based payload market for AMRs is one of the fastest growing segments. All of the major AMR companies are extending their product lines to include conveyor-based solutions. We've also seen the growth in the integrator channel and with specialty payload providers such as ROEQ and Glideline, as they create conveyor-based payloads for various AMR platforms..

The Interact Analysis Mobile Robot Report 2020 sells for $10K (USD), (with discounts available for smaller companies). However, if you are an AMR vendor reviewing your product roadmap as you begin your annual strategic planning cycle, this data can be invaluable to your market/venture modeling activities.

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About the author 

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman brings 25 years of product management and product marketing experience to the role of publisher and editor for Mobile Robot Guide. Mike is a respected expert in the mobile robot market and is a frequent panel leader and speaker at events and tradeshows.

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