Survey: Robotics usage on the rise

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Robots don't play a significant role in industries -- yet -- but respondents expect that to change soon.

Manager engineer check and control automation robot arms machine in intelligent factory industrial on real time monitoring system software. Modern Welding robotics and digital manufacturing operation

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The image of robots working on a factory floor is being replaced with the reality of robots working in a myriad of industries ranging from healthcare and logistics to retail and telecommunications. 

How are these robotic systems affecting these industries? This past June TechRepublic Premium surveyed 234 professionals to find out. 

SEE: More robot and robotic system deployments expected across industries (TechRepublic Premium)

The robots are coming

According to the majority of survey respondents (65%), robots and robotic systems do not play a significant role in their industry right now. However, during the next two-to-three years, 66% believe this will increase significantly or slightly. About a quarter of respondents report that their robotic system usage will not change, 9% are unsure, and only 1% report their robotic systems usage will decrease. 

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The main industries, according to respondents, that will increase their robotics usage in the next few years include: Manufacturing (75%), logistics and delivery (69%), healthcare (58%), agriculture (57%), transportation (49%), mining (47%), telecommunications (47%), and military and public safety (46%). 

Time commitment to robotic systems

Compared to other systems supported by IT, about half of respondents (52%) say that robotic systems will require either slightly more or much more time to support. Eight percent say it will take roughly the same amount of time, and 27% say it will take slightly less or much less time to support. About 14% of respondents are unsure of how much time is needed to support robotic systems. 

Regardless of the time commitment, respondents are in agreement (79%) that IT will support whatever robotic systems are deployed in companies. Of that 79%, 62% say IT support will be significant.

Concern about robot co-workers

As far as physically working alongside robots, 57% or respondents have little to no concerns, while 32% have some safety concerns. Just 11% of respondents are extremely concerned to work side-by-side with robots. 

When it comes to robots working alongside humans safely in general, 68% of respondents are somewhat concerned, 9% are extremely concerned, and slightly less than a quarter have no concern. 

The infographic below contains selected details from the research. To read more findings, plus analysis, download the full report: More robot and robotic system deployments expected across industries (available for TechRepublic Premium subscribers).

robotics-infographic-06192020.jpg

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