Traditional Business Models Won’t Survive a Robot Takeover

March 27, 2016 Updated: March 29, 2016

Just a few decades ago, employers sought typists, operators, and mimeograph repair technicians. Companies nowadays want webmasters, LAN operators, and programmers. New developments for these industries (artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and robotics) are not just disrupting, but replacing traditional business models.

They are causing some havoc, since some folks believe workforce automation will replace people. A recently published survey by the Pew Research Center found 65 percent of Americans expect that in the next five decades robots and computers will definitely or probably take over the work currently carried out by people.

The global robotics technology market is estimated to grow to $82.7 billion by 2020.

Nobody wants to be replaced by a superb invention, but people do want to harness technology to benefit how they work. A balance must be sought between technological advances and the people who use them.

Global Robotics Market

The robotics industry has pushed the envelope on innovation these past few years. The global robotics technology market is estimated to grow to $82.7 billion by 2020, according to AlliedMarketResearch.com.

The following infographic summarizes how and where the industry will evolve:

Global Robotics Technology Market (Types, Components and Geography) - Size, Share, Global Trends, Company Profiles, Demand, Insights, Analysis, Research, Report, Opportunities, Segmentation and Forecast, 2014 - 2020 

From Visually

This industry is sustainable for ongoing growth.

The growth has been calculated at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.11 percent from 2014 to 2020. The demand for industrial robots has accelerated and moved into this unnerving trend of automation. The average sales of robots increased at a CAGR of 17 percent per year (from 2010 to 2014).

There are five major markets that account for 70 percent of global robot sales, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

Below is a list of the leading regions, including the number of industrial robots sold (NIRS) up to 2014:

  • Asia (including Australia and New Zealand)—139,300
  • China—57,096
  • Japan—29,300
  • United States—26,200
  • Republic of Korea—24,7000
  • Germany—20,100

The New Zealand and Australia Asia region had the largest robot market, with 41 percent more robots sold in 2014 than in 2013.

China saw a 56 percent increase in sales, while Japan saw 17 percent. The United States, as the third largest market, experienced a growth of 11 percent. The Republic of Korea and Germany witnessed 16 percent and 10 percent respectively.

A handful of companies are now ushering a surge of new inventions. The new holding company, Alphabet (better known as Google), has a large number of products and services unlike any other.

A bicyclist rides by a Google self-driving car at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., on Sept. 25, 2012. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A bicyclist rides by a Google self-driving car at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., on Sept. 25, 2012. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Google is now developing self-driving cars. In 2013, Google X acquired Boston Dynamics, a Massachusetts-based company spun out of MIT back in 1992, for greater enhancements in the robotics industry.

Another large online retailer making plenty of buzz is Amazon. Its drone-based aircraft is a work-in-progress, intended to deliver purchases to the comfort of customers’ homes.

RoboticsBusinessReview.com has a complete and comprehensive list of companies working on the latest inventions for this new frontier.

A Sainsbury's employee checks an automated sorting area at Sainsbury's Waltham Point Depot in Waltham Abbey, England, on Dec. 13, 2010. The 700,000 sq. ft. fulfillment factory is the largest Sainsbury's distribution center in the U.K. supplying around 90 stores across London and the southeast of England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A Sainsbury’s employee checks an automated sorting area at Sainsbury’s Waltham Point Depot in Waltham Abbey, England, on Dec. 13, 2010. The 700,000 sq. ft. fulfillment factory is the largest Sainsbury’s distribution center in the U.K. supplying around 90 stores across London and the southeast of England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A New Industrial Revolution

The economies of the world have become more interconnected and globalized. The American economy has changed into one powered by technology, fueled by information, and driven by knowledge, confirms the Futurework report from the U.S. Department of Labor.

It is important that we steer clear from making it a race between humans and machines.

Technology always has its perks and its drawbacks. Having a machine perform the basic duties and functions will help, but it can also lead to a loss of jobs and human interaction.

A worker walks alongside a conveyor belt as items are sorted into crates to be sent to retail stores from the Argos Distribution Centre in Burton-upon-Trent, central England, on Nov. 27, 2015. (Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker walks alongside a conveyor belt as items are sorted into crates to be sent to retail stores from the Argos Distribution Centre in Burton-upon-Trent, central England, on Nov. 27, 2015. (Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

According to business consultancy firm Deloitte, the robotics industry will also add millions of jobs to the economy. Deloitte also predicts the rehab robotics market will grow up to 40 times its current size by 2020, leading to advancements in therapy robots, active prostheses, exoskeletons, and wearable robotics.

Our current time could be considered the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Future of Jobs report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) asserted these new technologies will lead to a better future because of things like big data analytics, mobile Internet, the Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics.

Businesses will need to adapt quickly to capitalize on the new opportunities and integrate them into their core goals.

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