The integration of advanced robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming several industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, automotive, and aerospace and forging a path towards the realization of Industry 4.0.

While companies are heavily investing in proprietary technologies for innovation and productivity, challenges like cybersecurity and high costs remain. Collaborative R&D efforts and standardized policies are crucial for harnessing the full potential of robotics, says GlobalData.

Kiran Raj, practice head of disruptive tech at GlobalData, comments: “The evolution of robotics from teleoperation arms to advanced humanoids has sparked a competitive race among the industry leaders to develop robotic solutions that meet the rigorous demands of modern industrial applications. Companies are investing heavily in proprietary robotic technologies, integrating advanced AI systems to reduce dependency on external platforms and enhance their operational efficiencies.”

Saurabh Daga, project manager for disruptive tech at GlobalData, adds: “Robotics stands as the backbone of transformation across multiple industries. It enables autonomous vehicles to navigate complex industrial environments, assist in precision surgeries in healthcare, and optimize logistics in supply chain management. Robots not only improve processes but also set new standards for efficiency and accuracy, advancing industries into the era of intelligent automation and Industry 4.0.”

GlobalData’s latest Innovation Radar report, “Transforming Workflows: Robotics in Industry,” examines over 50 real-world applications of advanced robotics across various industries, including aerospace, healthcare, construction, automotive, and logistics. The report categorizes these applications based on different robotic technologies to highlight their impact and potential across these industries.

* Cognitive robotics – Leonardo, in collaboration with Comau, has created a robotic solution for inspecting helicopter blades. This system uses cognitive robotics, advanced vision systems, and AI to perform detailed structural inspections, enhancing precision, flexibility, and efficiency in aircraft maintenance.

* Humanoid – Mercedes-Benz has introduced Apollo, a humanoid to its factory floors. This innovation aims to enhance production efficiency and streamline operations through advanced robotics and AI technologies. Apollo integrates humanoid robots into industrial environments, focusing on tasks that require precision and adaptability.

* Companion robot – Israeli robotics startup Intuition Robotics has launched ElliQ 3, an advanced AI-powered companion robot designed to support older adults in their daily lives. ElliQ 3 integrates advanced AI capabilities to offer personalised, empathetic interactions, enhancing the well-being and independence of its users.

* AI-powered autonomous robots – Maersk and iB Cargo have partnered with robotics solution provider Dexory to integrate autonomous robots and AI at their Romanian hub, optimising warehouse management with real-time data and digital twin technology, aiming to enhance logistics efficiency and operational precision.

Daga concludes: “Although robotics has enormous potential to change many industries, obstacles including cybersecurity, interoperability, and expensive implementation costs prevent from being fully integrated. To overcome this, stakeholders must work together more, invest more in R&D, and create uniform policies and procedures. By doing this, industries will be able to take advantage of robotics’ unparalleled potential for increased productivity and creativity.”