Investment Ideas / Robotics

Technology is always one of the widely acclaimed areas for investments. A particular subset of it is robotics industry. The size of the market depends on how we define “robotics”. If we are talking about just hardware, the overall market is about $13.1 billion. The industrial robotics market will grow about 6% annually through 2017. There does not seem to be a good consensus estimate for growth in the other robotics markets. However, the general view is that the non-defense portion of the professional service market and the consumer market will experience faster growth than the industrial market. Growth in the consumer market is projected to be especially strong. Applications of robotics that are commonly discussed are telepresence, security, autonomous car to name a few.

Telepresence

The original idea was one that coupled economy with convenience; that people would be able to stay for longer periods of time in their hotels allowing the tourism industry to be able to expand profits in this way; alongside this subtle advantage was the more obvious one that business men wouldn’t have to inconvenience themselves by going all across town just to attend one meeting. This particular company didn’t however work out but another one, Destiny Conferencing was able to license its very own first patent portfolio to HP, which allowed it to grow into the first company which joined the telepresence industry.

These days, a very popular use of telepresence would be video conferencing; this method of telepresence is a very beneficial one as it saves time, allows a multitude of people to gather, hear and see each other all at the same time via a cellphone or smartphone and is hence less time consuming as well as less money ripping! No wonder that such giants as Apple have offerings in the market.

Security Guards

Security guards are no longer really very much in vogue these days. In addition to video surveillance, robotic guards could play an increasingly important role in the future. Considering that not defense, not military but a security industry alone generates around $28 billion a year in the United States. Globally, that number was around $174 billion in 2010 according to Market line.
It is estimated that most security companies have turnover of employees of more than 400%, which is worse than the fast food industry. It should not come as a surprise as most security related tasks are rather mundane and tedious. Current advancements in technology allow to change that by introducing dedicated robots with behavior analysis, thermal imaging, proximity sensors, audio and video recording, biological, chemical and radiological detection, HD video, GPS, 3D mapping. A couple of examples are developed by G4S and Knightscope.
Security robots are still under beta testing, but with application domains spanning from airports to schools and hospitals, it is just a question of time when routine work will be taken over by our robotic security guards.

Autonomous Cars

According to a new report from IHS Automotive, semi-autonomous vehicles will likely be on the road before 2025, while fully self-driving cars should be shuttling people around by 2035. The firm predicted that the number of self-driving cars would jump from about 230,000 in 2025. It is predicted that about 29 percent of those will be in North America, followed by China at 24 percent, and Western Europe at 20 percent.
Along with major automotive companies such as Audi, Toyota and Nissan, Google is also trying to make its mark in self-driving cars industry. As with the adoption of any new revolutionary technology, there will be problems for businesses that do not adjust fast enough. Automakers, oil companies, suppliers, dealers, insurers, parking companies will be affected.
Adoption of autonomous cars will take decades, but their convenience, cost, safety and other factors will make them ubiquitous and indispensable. Such as with any technological revolution, the companies that plan, adjust the fastest and imagine the biggest will survive and thrive.

Related equities

Country Company Ticker
US iRobot IRBT
US Intuitive surgical ISRQ
US Adept ADEP
US Robo-Stox Global Robotics ETF ROBO
UK G4S GFS
Japan Yaskawa Electric 6506
Israel Mazor Robotics MZOR

References

Telepresence:
Considering Investing in Robotics Stocks in 2014?

Security guards:
G4S Powers Up Robotic Security
CES 2014: The Knightscope K5 Robot Redefines Security Industry

Self-driving cars:
Prepare for Self-Driving Cars by 2025
How Google’s Self-Driving Car Will Change Everything

Article copyright: YieldOrRisk