ABI published their predictions for 2022 this week. The new whitepaper contains 70 separate predictions: 35 predictions of trends that ABI believes will happen, and 35 trends that aren’t likely to happen in 2022.
ABI is one of the few analyst firms that we follow and trust here at the Mobile Robot Guide. Having said that, the leading prediction that is relevant for mobile robot users is that ABI is predicting 452,000 mobile robot shipments in 2022, a 65% increase over 2021.
“The fallout from COVID-19 prevention measures, the process of transitioning from pandemic to endemic disease, and global political tensions weigh heavily on the coming year’s fortunes. This whitepaper is a tool for our readers to help shape their understanding of the key critical trends that look set to materialize in 2022 as the world begins to emerge from the shadow of COVID-19. It also highlights those much-vaunted trends that are less likely to have meaningful impact in 2022,” says Stuart Carlaw, Chief Research Officer at ABI Research.
Here’s a brief summary of the robotics-related trends in the ABI whitepaper:
Hardware-based robot operating system optimization
In this prediction, ABI states that: “a total of 45,000 cobots and 452,000 mobile robots are expected to be shipped in 2022, a 65% and 51% Y-o-Y growth, end users are expected to benefit from the tighter integration.”
5G comes to robots and drones
As 5G deployment has started to mature worldwide, ABI is predicting that “more than 30% of mobile robots are expected to feature cellular connectivity by 2025.”
The democratization of robotics expertise
ABI believes that robotics as a whole suffers from a significant shortage in expertise. Here, ABI is also positing that “considerable investment in resource- and time-intensive areas requiring experts from different fields is badly needed, but this will not happen anytime soon.“
Companion robotics will not go mainstream (in 2022)
Even with several major companion robot stories in 2021 (remember Amazon Astro?), ABI is predicting that “2022 will not be the breakout year the industry is hoping for, despite the scale, pricing, and awareness that a player like Amazon can bring to an emerging technology market.“
Automation Will Address Labor Shortages and Profitability Issues
In light of continued labor shortages, the desire for contactless purchasing and delivery, and expansive e-commerce with declining delivery windows all lead to the need to supplement human labor across the supply chain through autonomy and robotics. ABI believes that “robots, cobots, and automation software will grow out of necessity across the supply chain from factory to fulfillment, retail, road, and sidewalk. Governments will continue to allow a variety of autonomous form factors to proliferate based on the factors above.”
These are just the robotics related predictions that ABI documented. The rest of the whitepaper covers a variety of other adjacent technology markets and trends.
Get your own copy of the whitepaper 70 TECHNOLOGY TRENDS THAT WILL—AND WILL NOT—SHAPE 2022