Differences between Industrial Robots and Service Robots

Automation has taken a large in the industry and the use of robots has been increased. However, robots are not used in industry only. They are used in the service sector as well and are getting popular.

There are different types of robots available in the industry. However, in this article, we are going to discuss the difference between industrial robots and service robots.

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Differences between Industrial Robots and Service Robots

Difference Between Industrial Robots and Service Robots

The difference between industrial robots and service robots is based on the following considerations.

  • Money making
  • Application area
  • Market data
  • Market potential
  • Target customer
  • Open to the world
  • Leading countries
  • Leveraging technology
  • Cool factor

1. Money Making

Industrial robots have been around since the ’70s. 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 to 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 :
  • A personal robot such as Roomba.
  • Medical robots like DaVinci.
  • Military robots like Daksh, Talon.
  • Logistic robots.

3. Market Data

The best source of data about the robotic industry that we have come across is the World Robotics yearly report done by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) since 2010.
IFR has split its report into two sections, one for Industrial and the other for Service robots.
It is clear from the 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 are more tied to economic conditions.

5. Target Customers

Industrial robots are brought primarily by manufacturers and are most dominant in the 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 languages and are often closed. This makes the development of third-party applications more cumbersome through the development of  ROS-industrial even industrial robotics are beginning to open up.
Open-source initiatives are yet to reach a tipping point in service robotics.

7. Leading Countries

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