The recent announcement by Foxconn, the main producing partner of Apple in China, of the replacement of 60,000 human employees with robots has been further evidence that the next industrial revolution – “Robotics”, a robot is a programmable mechanical device that can perform tasks and interact with its environment, without the aid of human interaction – is underway.
With an average growth at around 30% each year since 2008, robotics was a global market worth USD 30 billion in 2015 for 1.5 million active robots produced by 5 major producers, mainly Japanese, American and German, which represent 75% of the total.
In addition to industrial production, robotics will revolutionize the sectors of military, logistics, healthcare and agriculture. The exponential growth of digital mobility should accelerate the robotics revolution – the “robolution” – by allowing users, professional as personal – to program and/or activate their robot remotely. The robolution results from a combination of favorable factors like, in addition to digital, miniaturization, increase of power and calculation speed of processors and optimization of energy use.
The growth of robotics market should therefore positively drive the growth of all the sectors that contribute to its concretization, namely computers, “cloud” services, quantum physics, apps, industrial audit, defense and many more. In exchange for a reduction of costs and increased industrial profitability for organizations could emerge social and sociological difficulties to accept such a paradigmatic shift.
As robotics could allow Humans to live without laborious work, robotics could also deprive Humans of their participation to the industrial process, meaning their job. The future will therefore depend on who (and how) controls the robotics class. Meanwhile, robotics could grow fivefold and reach USD 150 billion by 2020.