Companies will adopt far greater numbers of smart mobile robots over the next three years than flying drones, according to a technology forecast from analyst firm Gartner Inc.
Many organizations already deploying mobile robots will likely expand their fleets in the next three years, with each company putting hundreds, if not thousands, of mobile robots in use, the firm said in its “Hype Cycle for Mobile Robots and Drones, 2023.” Meanwhile, they will deploy drones in more targeted ways, such as for inspection at a location or delivery of critical goods like medicines to remote areas.
“By 2027, over 75% of companies will have adopted some form of cyber-physical automation within their warehouse operations,” Dwight Klappich, vice president and fellow in Gartner’s Supply Chain Practice, said in a release. “Labor shortages and challenges retaining talent, coupled with technology advances such as machine learning and AI, will continue to drive adoption of smart robots.”
The trend will also lead to expanded use of another technology, known as multiagent orchestration (MAO) platforms, Gartner said. That’s because as companies expand their use of robotics, most will eventually have heterogeneous fleets of robots from different vendors performing various tasks, which will require standardized software that can easily integrate to a variety of agents and robot platforms, and orchestrate the overall work.
“In the past year, we’ve seen increased interest in smart robots and MAO platforms as companies are looking to further improve logistic operations, support automation and augment humans in various jobs,” Klappich noted. “Rapidly emerging and evolving technologies, like MAO, will enable organizations to leverage heterogeneous fleets of mobile robots to assist with more complex activities, delivering cost savings and productivity benefits.”