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Global Social Robots Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

Global Social Robots Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • September 2021
  • 145 pages
  • ID: 6155707
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The global social robotics market (hereafter referred to as the market studied) was valued at USD 1.98 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 11.24 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 34.34% during the period of 2021-2026. As the world is continuously fighting the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, robotics and automation play a crucial role in safeguarding the people and processing the supplies that people need as they are shifting toward remote working and home learning.

Key Highlights
Social robots work more closely with humans; hence, they need to respond to the users and adapt their behaviors. Over the years, the massive improvements in actuators, sensors, and processing abilities have allowed humans to naturally interact with robots via conversation, facial expression, and eye contact. As a result of the improvements, there has been a rise in interest in the deployments of social robots in medical therapies. For instance, the social behaviors of robots, including eye gaze and imitation, have positively impacted autism therapy, wherein children with autism interact with robots.
Growing concerns regarding the care and attention offered to the elderly population and the expanding need for workforces have influenced the adoption of these robots. For instance, the Japanese government anticipates a shortfall of 380,000 specialized workers by 2025 and has been funding the development of eldercare robots. Furthermore, according to the World Bank, by 2025, 22% of the world population may be older than 60. The demand for allied robots is only going to increase, thus making social robots a lucrative market.
The use of robotics in learning is ideal for interaction in classrooms, as it improves social interaction and encourages collaboration among young children. Playing and learning with robots also offer additional benefits for students with disabilities. For instance, In April 2020, AKA LLC, developer of an educational robot, announced that it had completed the distribution and installation of its robot “Musio” to Jeju Mureung Innovation Elementary and Middle School.
Social robot navigation is programmed to learn from human observations or demonstration of behavior around them. To carry out this task, robots are equipped with sensors and cameras that allow them to perceive the environment and a path planning system that enables them to compute a feasible route to achieve the navigation goal. Hence, the assistance or guidance offered by these social robots is a simulation of what they see around them and mimics the same human behavior.

Key Market Trends

Healthcare Sector is Expected to Drive the Market Growth

Social robots assist care homes by reducing loneliness, connect with doctors, monitor activities, and support caregivers. In February 2021, Vic Foundation partnered with Research Manitoba for a new telepresence robot project designed to minimize the burden on these caregivers and support individuals living with dementia.
In July 2021, Choose Home Care Act of 2021 was introduced by the senate in the United States with support from a broad range of stakeholders in-home health care and consumer organizations, including the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, the Partnership for Quality Home Health Care, LeadingAge, AARP, the National Council on Aging, among others.
According to WHO, neurological disorders are projected to increase to 103 million in 2030, approximately a 12% increase. The increase in neurological disorders is leading to the growth of rehabilitation robots. Such robots ensure the movement in rehabilitation exercises is repeated in the same way each time, training the brain to enable muscles to carry out the activities alone.
Such robots are widely being adopted in hospitals for curing diseases such as cerebral palsy and others. In November 2020, Seoul Metropolitan Children’s Hospital announced the opening of a center using rehabilitation robots to treat people with trouble walking. Children with problems with walking due to cerebral palsy or other diseases can be aided by a high-tech rehabilitation robot at a treatment room, receiving rehabilitative treatment based on their walking patterns. The center uses Hocoma’s Lokomat Pro robot for the rehabilitation of neurological patients.
Back in September 2020, researchers from the University of Bedfordshire announced their wheeled robot "Pepper" trial results in the United Kingdom and Japan care homes. The trial found that older adults in care homes who interacted with the robots for up to 18 hours across two weeks had a significant improvement in their mental health. The analysis was part of a GBP 2.3 million research project funded by the European Commission and the Japanese government.

North America to Witness Fastest Growth

With the shift in consumer behavior by the pandemic, there is a dependence on automation and digitization in the region, leading to the acceleration of robotic automation. The companies operating in the region, such as KUKA AG, also witnessed similar trends, which propelled the growth of robots in the North American region.
In addition, the growth in advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and others, in different end-user verticals also creates new opportunities for the adoption of social robots. According to. July 2020 survey by Intel, 84% of the U.S. healthcare leaders have already deployed technologies such as AI in their clinical workflow (an increase from 37% in 2018).
The adoption of social robots has been witnessed in various educational institutions in the region as they help capture students’ attention. In April 2021, Van Robotics, a US-based provider of tutoring robots that provides its robots in 30 states in the United States, announced that students are using eight Abii robots at two Charleston County School District (CCSD) schools.
The robots are designed to help students in grades 1 through 6 by one-on-one intervention. Students each get a unique login, and the robots provide personalized instruction. Moreover, the robots detect attention spans and refocus children by dancing and singing. The robots have helped gain the attention of students and make them feel better as companions.
The aging population in the region is also putting strain on the healthcare setting due to the rapidly growing demand from the public to keep up with societal needs. According to the United States Census Bureau, the share of the old-age population accounted for 16.9% in 2020 and is expected to reach 22% by 2050. Also, according to the Canadian government, by 2030, seniors in Canada will number over 9.5 million and make up 23% of Canadians.

Competitive Landscape

The Social Robots Market is moderately competitive, accounting for the healthy competition from both the established players and new startups. While most social robot vendors had limited success with initial products, they continue to launch new products with enhanced features, aggressive pricing, or complete switch in target audiences. For instance, few players have been focusing on children’s demographics by launching social robots that help children in early childhood development, while others continue to serve the elderly population. Some of the recent developments in the market are:

August 2021 - Co Sligo primary school adopted Nao social robot for teaching French vocabulary. The robot can teach many subjects, including art, music, literacy, and maths, and it will be teaching the French language to seven- and eight-year-olds.
April 2021 - Hasbro partnered with Robosen to launch one of the most advanced and programmable robots to the market through the Transformers franchise. The company launched an interactive Optimus Prime robot with over 60 chips and Robosen Robotics’ artificial joint driving algorithms and digital electric drive technology. The interactive robot can be operated through voice command or smartphone.

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