Since the late 1990s, a total of 2.25 million industrial robots have been deployed worldwide. By 2030, up to 20 million are expected to be in use globally.
In 2019 there was an over 18% increase in funds comprised of 90 leading companies in the robotics, automation and artificial intelligence industry – the ROBO Global’s Robotics and Automation Index ETF, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies in the industry.
The fund’s gain in the year – which is almost 35% of the total ETF gain accumulated since its launch in 2013 – shows a trend that is approaching a turning point for the robotics industry in the world economy. Robot use worldwide has increased threefold in the last two decades to 2.25 million, according to a report from Oxford Economics. 20 million robots are expected to be in industrial use by 2030.
The Brazilian specialist in industrial automation, Marcelo Miranda, explains that the coming years must be technological changes that will change the way companies operate. “We are on the verge of a globalized transformation that will change the economy as a whole. Through the combination of technologies such as Automation, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Additive Manufacturing and Custom Manufacturing, manufacturers will be able to create new business models that are more productive, safer and less costly due to the high capacity of process optimization ”, explains the specialist, who has been in the market for over 30 years and is the CEO of Accede Automação Industrial.
According to the Oxford survey, by 2030 robots will be a key player in production and will become 8.5% of the global manufacturing force, 20 million machines will be in use, China alone will have about 14 million manufacturing robots. The Asian country currently owns most of the world’s active robots: almost 20% of the total.
“We are already experiencing the arrival of the future and in the next decade this will be even more tangible. In industrial daily life, globalized companies will have cutting-edge automation and artificial intelligence. Different production sectors will be increasingly impacted by robotics and artificial intelligence. Logistic automation, security and surveillance are major sectors of robotization, in addition to areas that involve manufacturing and currently have robots in operation, ”adds Marcelo.
The study predicts that if indeed there is a 30% increase in robot installations worldwide, this would add $ 5 trillion to the global GDP. According to Oxford, this amounts to increasing the global economy by $ 4.9 trillion by 2030 (at current prices) – the equivalent of a larger economy than projected for Germany.
The New Relationship Between Humans & Machines
Marcelo Miranda comments that many workers perform their activities isolated from living with other workers and in many cases, repeating tasks that require little or no need for reasoning. This affects worker’s motivation on a daily basis and is a waste of human capacity. According to him, new technologies can replace this kind of function, providing the opportunity to migrate labor to activities where thinking and making decisions are relevant steps in the process.
“An example of activity that isolates the worker is the function of “Picker” or “Grabber”. This task, in logistics and commerce, requires the worker to obey a machine (computer) and go to the places where the products are, pick them up and put them in baskets and must do so in a timed and highly controlled period. Logistic and manipulative robots can perform tasks like this, and contrary to what it seems at first glance, this kind of change does not eliminate worker employment but enables a change in the use of the workforce, opening up new opportunities and even new professions. ” explains Marcelo.
The Future of Jobs report proves that, in fact, some jobs will be wiped out as automation increases: 75 million jobs can be replaced, but not surprisingly. Marcelo explains that the changes are gradual and can already be perceived in daily life. “You can gradually notice a new role emerging in a company and others that no longer make sense. Robots and machines are already working alongside us, changing the way we live and work. Collaborative robots, named for the category of robots that can safely work with us, are increasingly in use. This new way of collaborative work divides tasks by taking advantage of what man and machine do best, ” he concludes.