Research study published by Strategic exit partnersan investment bank that specializes in selling technology companies, has found that although America lags behind Asia in designing and producing robots, it is now in a position to catch up and lead in the new global robotics race.
The study analyzed transactions of the past five years, including 300 exits and 5,000 investments in 3,000 global companies.
“Our research finds that despite America’s small role in manufacturing robots, it is now making robot acquisitions at a rapid rate that outpace its geopolitical competitors,” says Lyn Zabalovsky, partner at Strategic Acquisitions Partners.
“And while America has not historically been, on a systems level, a leader in robotics technology, we concluded that America is making its way into many categories of robotics.”
An analysis of available data on global acquisitions of robotics by industry found that America is on par with Europe and Asia in the acquisition of technologies in industries such as manufacturing, medical, and healthcare.
However, trends indicate that it is spending other areas in technologies such as transportation (self-guided vehicles or autonomously guided robots used in logistics, agriculture, and consumer applications), integrators (service companies that implement solutions), and workplace robotics (collaborative robots that Helping people clean, serve food or retail).
The study concluded that if America focuses on service robots in these industries, and the largest manufacturing robot density is in Asia (robot density is measured by the number of robots per population, which is a key indicator of the level of automation achieved by society), then it will continue to import manufacturing robots in assembly These service robots are from Japan and Europe.
Service robots, made in America, will help Americans in everyday life, which in turn will provide export opportunities for new robots for American companies.
The study also concluded that the manufacturing robot density in the United States will increase, as robot adoption is still in its infancy, and service robots can be manufactured as easily in America as abroad.
“Korea currently has a robot density 3.5 times greater than America,” Zabalowski says. However, the cost of robots is about the same anywhere, so the manufacturing base will return to America in the form of robotics and advanced automation.
“However, this surge in service robots is not expected to lead to a commensurate increase in human jobs.”
The research also examined global acquisitions of robotics by robot form, revealing a trend about the future of automation and robotics.
“Surprisingly, at least two-thirds of global acquisitions are related to robots that move: drones, self-driving guided vehicles, autonomous mobile robots, marine robots, shuttle robots, etc.
“The significance of this finding is that there is a strong demand for mobile robots, and this demand is expected to increase over the course of the decade.
The next wave of innovation will be about what these bots can do on mobile or stationary platforms. Robot skill and intelligence are becoming more and more important all over the world.”
The overall outcome of the proprietary research by Strategic Equity Partners was that America is well positioned in the global robotics race, but the stakes have shifted.
The race is no longer to produce traditional manufacturing robots, but rather a race for mobile or stationary service robots. Through acquisitions, America acquires intellectual property to maintain a dominant position.
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