Mobile robots set to transform material handling and logistics

18 September 2017

A recent IDTechEx Research report ‘Mobile Robots & Drones in Material Handling & Logistics 2017-2037’ looks at all aspects of mobile robotics in material handling and logistics applications – looking in particular at automated guided vehicles and carts (AGVs and AGCs); autonomous mobile vehicles and carts/units; mobile picking robots; last mile delivery ground robots (droids) and drones; and autonomous trucks and light delivery vans (level 4 and level 5 automation).

The report predicts that mobile robotics in material handling and logistics will become a $75bn market by 2027, and that the market will then more than double by 2038. It also Predicts great change for the sector, with new technologies rise and transforming the industry, resulting in other technologies becoming obsolete. 

The report found that that the navigation technology on AGVs is evolving rapidly with multiple options now being available ranging from low-cost wire or magnetic tape guidance through to laser guidance. However, all still follow rigid guide points, so still require some degree of infrastructure modification and extended onsite installation. With the latest generation of infrastructure-independent navigation technologies offering more flexibility this sector of the market is expected to see new entrants and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are expected to see a rise, not just largely replacing AGVs but in time diffusing beyond the structured confines of warehouses and factories.

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