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Report: Demand for cobots continues to rise

By WANG YING in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-09-16 14:50

A woman interacts with a service robot (R) during the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, capital of China, on Sept 6, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Despite the slowdown in demand for industrial robots, sales of collaborative robots have continued to grow at high double digits in China, according to a new report.

Published by Shanghai-based robot maker Jaka Robotics and Shenzhen Gaogong Industry Research Consulting Co on Tuesday during the ongoing China International Industry Fair, the report noted that the rapidly growing segment for collaborative robots is likely to see intensified competition in the coming years.

According to the report, as many as 8,200 units of collaborative robots were sold last year, an increase of 29.75 percent year-on-year. The Chinese collaborative robot market also expanded by 15.05 percent to 1.07 billion yuan.

Unlike most industrial robots, collaborative robots, also known as cobots, are designed to physically interact with humans in a shared workspace.

As the world's largest market for industrial robot application, China saw its industrial robot sales slip 2.11 percent year-on-year to 153,100 units in 2019, the report stated.

Between 2014 and 2019, China reported a compound annual growth rate of 68.71 percent for collaborative robot sales and 53.39 percent for market scale, according to the Blue Paper of the Cobots Industry for 2020.

The blue paper also forecast that the market will swell in the coming years to 26,500 units of sales in China by 2023, with the market scale exceeding 2.71 billion yuan.

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