The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) reported a shipment of 115,000 industrial robots which means that the number of units sold worldwide almost doubled compared to the very weak year 2009. The IFR expects a bright future for robotics: The prospects for 2011 and beyond are promising as the robotics industry benefits from the increasing demand for automation especially in the Asian growing markets with China on the top. In 2011 a further increase of robot sales between 10 percent and 15 percent is expected which would bring a new peak level of about 130,000 sold units within reach. Between 2012 and 2014 a moderate annual growth rate of five percent (in average) is more likely.
This forecast has been set up by the IFR prior to the recent tsunami in Japan and its substantial effects on the Japanese economy. During the IFR Industrial Robot Suppliers Meeting on 24 March in Chicago a threat analysis was performed with the knowledge of the participating robot suppliers from all over the world. These are the results:
The IFR will closely monitor the development and keep in touch with the Japan Robot Association (JARA). Regular updates on the situation will be published.