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Robots have found extensive applications for automating several repetitive industrial tasks. In conjunction with the development in the robotic vision systems and sensing, requirements for better production quality in the industrial manufacturing procedures and focus towards eliminating human errors in these operations have in turn led to significant growth of the inspection robotics market. Some of the major applications of these systems include inspection of water pipelines, high voltage transmission lines, bridges, and dams.

Superior quality output and high ROI fueling growth of the global inspection robotics market during the forecast period

Better production quality assessment in industry critical applications, specifically that including aerospace and oil & gas exploration form the basis of their applications. Introduction of human errors in these processes can threaten loss of million dollars or endanger multiple human lives. These applications for high accuracy are expected to garner consistent demands over the following few years. Moreover, high return on investment (ROI), owing to reduction in manual workforce expenses, 24-hour working capacities, less residual waste generation, and minimal human intervention requirement will provide considerable growth opportunities for the global inspections robotics market.

Global Inspection Robotics Market Taxonomy

On the basis of control types, the global inspection robotics market is classified into:

  • Remotely operated vehicles (ROV)
  • Autonomous

On the basis of end use industries, the global inspection robotics market is classified into:

  • Oil & Gas
  • Petrochemicals
  • Food & beverage
  • Aerospace & defense
  • Power generation
  • Others

On the basis of regions, the global inspection robotics market is classified into:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Africa

Advancement in automated visual capability of these next generation systems will enhance the system applicability

Generic robots were attributed with operations in specific area at particular time owing to lack of appropriate vision systems. Incorporation of vision sensors, cameras, and software that can control the operation of these automated systems has led to significant increase in the application of these systems. For instance, SkySpecs offers autonomous wind turbine drone examination solutions that can operate independently and examine the various parameters of the turbines to determine its power efficiency. Moreover, such applications in wind power industry, high altitude or unfavorable working environment that endangers human lives can be easily met with the utilization of these systems. These factors are expected to drive the global inspection robotics market growth.

High initial capital and social unacceptance owing to significant loss of human jobs are expected to be major challenges of the global inspection robotics market

Owing to its high initial one time capital, it is difficult for SMEs to adopt these solutions. Availability of low cost work force in some emerging economies that include China, India, and Indonesia, will also present considerable growth challenge. Moreover, requirement to meet regulatory compliances for the co-existence of the human and automated workforce such as Robot Ethics Charter in South Korea and RoboLaw project in the EU, is projected to hamper adoption of inspection robots.

Remotely operated vehicles major growth drivers of the global inspection robotics market

Remotely operated vehicles are tethered by cables and can be controlled through central control unit. High utilization of these systems in surveillance and examination operations is expected to be the major growth driver for this market. However, autonomous solutions are increasingly gaining popularity, owing to their ease of utilization, and the segment is expected to witness highest growth rate over the forecast period. On the basis of application, oil & gas industry segment dominated the market, owing to its mission critical applications and requirement of accurate real time operation monitoring conducive to ensure optimal productivity.

Asia Pacific is expected to dominate the industry through the forecast period, primarily owing to large production and sales in Japan, China, and South Korea. Other major regional markets include the U.S., Germany, and the U.K. The market is characterized by the presence of a relatively small number of original equipment manufacturers in comparison to other types of industrial robots. Most of the solution providers in the industry include system integrators and assemblers. Industry participants are expected to focus on innovation in order to gain strong industry foothold.

Global Inspection Robotics Market: Key Players

Key players in the global inspection robotics market include AETOs, GE Inspection Robotics, Honeybee Robotics, Inuktun Services, and Universal Robots. Other prominent key players in the global inspection robotics market includes, AZoRobotics, Calmation, Cognex, Cross Robotics, ECA Group, Faro, FMC Technologies, Genesis Systems Group, Hydrovision, Inspectorbots, JH Robotics, Lakeview Vision and Robotics, Leo Robotics, NuTec, RNA Automation, SuperDroid Robots, Robotic Automation Systems, Warren Industrial Solutions, and Wauseon Machine and Manufacturing among others.

Global Inspection Robotics Market: Key Developments

  • In March 2019, Planys Technologies, an IIT-Madras-incubated start-up that provides underwater robotic inspection solutions, announced a launch of its advanced remotely operated vehicle (ROV), “Mikros” for deeper underwater inspection.
  • In July 2019, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS) announced the launch of its “Inspection Robot” that can perform inspections at the same level as conventional detailed inspections by certified inspectors on turbine generators in a shorter period of time.
  • In April 2016, STRAHL LLC, a North America-based Company, announced a launch of its new high quality, affordable “Pipe Inspection Robot GECKO 9050” which is developed and manufactured in Germany especially for longer, hard to navigate pipes.
  • In November 2018, ABB, a Swiss-based Multinational Corporation, announced a launch of its “ABB Ability TXplore” in the UK in order to reduce risk as well as duration of outages on critical assets by transformer operators.
  • In May 2019, Invert Robotics, New Zealand-based remote robotic inspection service provider, has raised around US$ 8.8 Million for inspection robots which can cling to non-metallic surfaces.

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