Differences between Industrial Robots and Service Robots

Differences between Industrial Robots and Service Robots |www.enggarena.net
Differences between Industrial Robots and Service Robots

 

1. Money Making

Industrial robots have been around since 70's. It is because they have figured out how to make money. On the other hand, as a mature industry, margins are tight and it is challenging for companies  to differentiate.

2. Application Area

The term "industrial robot" is somewhat misleading. In fact, what people refer as industrial robots are robot arms used in manufacturing. 
On the other hand, service robots are everything else but manufacturing. Some of the examples are :
  • Personal robot such  as roomba.
  • Medical robot like DaVinci.
  • Military robot like Daksh, Talon.
  • Logistic robots.

3. Market Data

The best source of data about the robotic industry that we have came across is the World Robotics yearly report done by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) since 2010.
IFR has split their report in two sections, one for Industrial and other for Service robots.
It is clear from two reports that the type of data available to analyze different industries varies.

4. Market Potential

All the experts agree on the huge potential growth of service robots and the relatively lower growth rate for industrial robots whose fluctuations is more tied to economic conditions.

5. Target Customers

Industrial robots are brought primarily by manufacturers and are most dominant in automotive industry
Types of customers for service robotics are much more diverse. They might be manufacturers, hospitals, military groups. The decision to buy is diverse and sometimes a price tag can't be put on the benefits.

6. Open to the world

Industrial robots are very proprietary. All the controllers use different language and are often closed. This makes the development of third party applications more cumbersome through with the development of  ROS-industrial even industrial robotics are beginning to opening up.
Open source initiatives are yet to reach tipping point in service robotics.

7. Leading Countries

The largest industrial robot manufacturing country is Japan with the big companies like Kawasaki, Fanuc, Yaskawa-Motoman and others.
With respective to service robots, situation is exactly opposite with US leading the way. The US approach is not to build humanoid robot but the robots dedicated to one application.

8. Leveraging Technology

This point is similar to the previous one. Industrial robots use hardware and software that are robotic specific.
The service robotic industry does a much better job at leveraging off-the shelf technologies that have a lower cost and require less customization.

9. Cool Factor

Yes, service robots are much cooler than the industrial robots. Kids get into robotics not to make industrial arms but rather autonomous mobile robots. It is well said, "The service robot industries won't grow because it is cool but because it solves problems."
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Sujit Kadus

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