The novel coronavirus has reshaped the economy and is expected to leave a massive impact on the way we work and conduct businesses. Some of the major changes include the practice of social distancing, remote working, mask wearing, periodic cleaning as well as reducing touchpoints.
As contact is perceived to be a risk, robots have emerged as a powerful tool for businesses wanting to keep everyone safe and has forced many organizations — such as healthcare, retailers and manufacturers— to evaluate and implement new ways of operations.
The pandemic has pushed robots into the spotlight where we see the emergence of mobile and autonomous robots in hospitals, workspaces and even parks during the COVID-19 pandemic. They perform tasks that a person cannot handle, doing it safely, acting as a contactless alternative to promote social distancing and are gaining attention due to their efficiency and capacities to meet the demands.
The pandemic has generated a greater demand for mobile automation. This has resulted in a massive increase in the adoption of robotic technology where worldwide spending on robotics systems is forecasted to reach $112.4 billion by the end of 2020. The adoption of robotics is likely to continue to rise with mobile robot revenues set to reach $2.4bn this year and is expected to increase by a further 50% in 2021
The broad use of robots in the COVID-19 pandemic shows that robots have gone from a convenience to a necessity for a lot of people and businesses as it augments the human workforce.
With growing number of companies realizing the value of a human-robot hybrid work model and automation, robotics technology will continue to become far more common and widespread in the coming years.
As social distancing measures is expected to continue for the rest of 2020 or even extending through 2021, companies need to be prepared for longer-term changes. While businesses reconfigure their workplaces and look to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among staff and keep operations moving, they should look to invest into more automated ways of working.
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