The autonomous mobile robot market is taking off like a rocket ship

The autonomous mobile robot market is taking off like a rocket ship


– Steve Banker, Forbes Contributor 

We just completed the new global market study on the Autonomous Mobile Robot market. The market is exploding. In my twenty years of doing market research I have never seen anything like the growth this market is experiencing.

Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are a form of automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) that can be implemented without any supporting infrastructure like markers or wires or magnets implanted in the floor or precisely located laser targets.

There are two types of AMRs – those based on fleet management and systems that rely on picking optimization:

  • Fleet management solutions typically operate with bigger payloads and route the robots from an origin to a destination.
  • Pick optimization robots integrate the movement of machines and people in a process flow designed to increase picking throughput. Pick optimization robots support picking to cartons and totes and consequently have a small payload.

The pick optimization segment, driven by the growth of e-commerce, is by far the faster growing segment. Two of the larger suppliers of these types of solutions are 6 River Systems and Locus Robotics. Jerome Dubois, the cofounder and co-CEO of 6 River Systems, told me that their bookings are nearly 6 times greater than they were in 2017 (this is a calendar year 2018 study), that they have nearly tripled their deployed systems, and their staff has grown by 150%. “So, the growth is happening – we have had a full slate of projects in progress since mid-year. No question about it.  Business is strong!”

At Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) and Vecna Robotics the story is the same. “Vecna Robotics has experienced immense growth over the last year,” Dan Patt, the CEO at Vecna said. “We’ve partnered with three out of five of the largest logistics companies including FedEx. We are seeing three times year over year revenue growth and have nearly doubled our headcount from this time last year.”

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