Sensors have the lead role in the drones & robots market revolution


  • The forthcoming robotics revolution will cover the entire market spectrum.
  • The already-robust US$ 350 million sensors for drones and robots market will double by 2021, reaching US$ 709 million at a 12.4% CAGR from 2015-2021.
  • Sensors, which are key enablers for the emerging robotics revolution, will play a role in all applications.
  • Key technologies such as 3D cameras, Solid-State LIDAR and ultraprecise gyroscopes are in development.

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LYON, France – March 17, 2016:“Defense and manufacturing have been the traditional drones and robot markets,” explains Pierre Cambou, Activity Leader, Imaging, Yole Développement (Yole).“Within five years, the emerging robotic market segments will grow from 14% to 28% of the global drones and robots market share.” Indeed these new markets will represent two times the share of the defense market and half the share of the industrial market. The sensors for drones and robots market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.4% between 2015 and 2021, reaching a total revenue of US$ 709 million by 2021. The “More than Moore” market research and strategy consulting company, Yole announces within its new technology & market analysis entitled Sensors for drones and robots: market opportunities and technology revolution, the market are clearly driven by full applications range.

The Sensors for Drones & Robots report is the first one performed by Yole’s MEMS & Sensors team and concerning sensors for robots and drones. Indeed the analysts have witnessed the emerging vitality of these markets and their reliance on key sensor technologies like MEMS and imaging sensors. Yole’s analysis identifies the overall drones and robots applications with a market and technology approach; this report lists the key players for each application and their market positioning. The technology for drones and robots is also well detailed. Indeed Yole proposes a deep analysis of sensor forecasts per application and technology, the related market drivers and a dedicated roadmap.

Currently, the two largest markets for drones and robots are defense and industrial, both of which owe much to the global policy of the United-States and China.
“Through our research, we’ve identified at least 10 new applications for which drones and robots that will generate more than $1B in revenue per year”, announces Pierre Cambou from Yole. As numerous new applications covering the full market spectrum emerge, including consumer drones, autonomous vehicles, hospitality robots, exoskeletons, and telepresence, the drones and robots markets will become less military and manufacturing-oriented. These new applications, which will all enjoy a compound growth rate of 40% and above over the next five years, are detailed in Yole’s report.

For each market, a huge diversity of robots and applications are being explored by numerous emerging players. This is a complexity inherent to early-stage markets, where a diversity of competing technologies can coexist.

Sensors, which are key enablers for the emerging robotics revolution, will play a role in all applications. Indeed a robotic device is a closed loop of actuation, computation, and perception (sensing). The previous two digital and industrial revolutions ushered in the first two capabilities, with sensing the only one still outstanding. Mobile and automotive have been instrumental in the maturation of acoustic, optical, and positional sensors, while new sensor categories like touch, microwave, and environmental will serve drones and robots. “Optical sensors, in particular visible cameras, lidar, and 3D cameras, are the major enablers,” asserts Dr Eric Mounier, Senior Technology & Market Analyst at Yole. And he adds: “Acoustic and positional sensors will also enjoy double-digit growth rates for drones and robots applications.”

Sensors for drones and robots: market opportunities and technology revolution report highlights the extremely diverse sensor revenue distribution amongst the markets Yole’s MEMS & Sensors team analyzed. From consumer, commercial, and transport to medical, security, industrial, and defense, every market will generate sensor revenue. Marketing-wise, this is especially beneficial to smaller companies focused on a few specific niches. The drones and robots markets are the perfect target for emerging sensing technologies.
Among the numerous applications relevant to sensors for drones and robots, there isn’t a clear case for cheap volume-oriented sensors versus high-end expensive ones. The drones and robots markets are still emerging, and first must prove their benefit. In this context they are particularly price-conscious at the beginning of product expansion. By Yole’s observation, once they have proven themselves the ASP stops shrinking and starts rising again. Performance at low cost is an enabler, but cost for performance is a driving force. This is currently evident in the consumer drone space, along with vacuum cleaner robots and hospitality robots. In the future, we expect to see this trend across the board.

A detailed description of Yole’s Drones & Robot report is available on i-micronews.com website, MEMS & Sensors report section.

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