Overall, the reports that I surveyed were upbeat, predicting exponential growth for all unmanned vehicles.

Unmanned Systems Markets: Present & Future

William Finn | Amrel

 

Reprinted with permission from the Amrel blog

Since I work for a company that sells to unmanned system developers, I am always on the lookout for information about market trends. Toward this end, I scanned a number of promotions for marketing reports, selected out bits of information, and summarized them in the table below.

 

Unmanned Systems Markets: Size and Growth

Sources include Markets and Markets (UGV & UGVUUVUAV), Report Buyer (UGV), Big Market Research (UAV), Reports n Reports (UUV), and Report Linker (UUV)

The two different CAGRs for UAV reflect opinions of two separate reports

 

UUV

Many marketing reports are often extremely optimistic, so projections of enormous growth are not unusual.  Still, Holey Moley, look at the predictions for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs)!  Ten-fold growth in six years!

Like other unmanned systems, Defense applications will play a big role in UUVs expansion and development. However, utilization of UUVs for Oil & Gas inspection and construction are also significant.

I wonder if these incredible projections were made before the drop in oil prices.  Hard-to-reach oil beneath the sea may be too expensive to develop if petroleum prices remain depressed. That could affect the demand for UUVs.

UUVs can be divided into Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV). In fact, some reports consider them separate markets. See table below.

While the ROV market is currently the largest, AUV is expected to eventually dominate as autonomous capabilities improve. Other technological drivers include increased number of payloads, endurance, miniaturization, and AIP (Air Independent Propulsion).

 

UGV

While the UUV market growth is the most impressive, the Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) CAGR is nothing to sneeze at either. Certainly, we can expect demand for UGVs to be fueled by Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detection and Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR), i.e. their traditional duties.  However, according to some reports, we can expect UGVs to be also used for civilian applications, such as material handling, transportation, social welfare (especially elder care), agriculture, and telepresence (especially medicine).

 

UAV

The biggest surprise for the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) market was the demand for combat applications.  One report predicted that Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV) would constitute the single largest segment with a share of 34%.

 

A grain of salt as big as Gibraltar

Overall, the reports that I surveyed were upbeat, predicting exponential growth for all unmanned vehicles. North America (and Europe to a lesser degree) is expected to remain the dominant market. However, I saw multiple predictions that most growth will happen in “emerging” markets, such as BRIC countries, and other parts of the developing world.

Obviously, unplanned events could seriously affect predictions. If a UAV collided with a manned airplane and killed someone famous, the FCC’s pace in approving UAVs for domestic airspace could remain glacial.  On the other hand, if a small, developed country successfully integrated UAVs into their air control system, the pressure on the FCC to speed up the approval process could increase.

As always, view these marketing reports with a scrupulous, but wary eye.

 

 


Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

Universal Robots - Collaborative Robot Solutions

Universal Robots - Collaborative Robot Solutions

Universal Robots is a result of many years of intensive research in robotics. The product portfolio includes the UR5 and UR10 models that handle payloads of up to 11.3 lbs. and 22.6 lbs. respectively. The six-axis robot arms weigh as little as 40 lbs. with reach capabilities of up to 51 inches. Repeatability of +/- .004" allows quick precision handling of even microscopically small parts. After initial risk assessment, the collaborative Universal Robots can operate alongside human operators without cumbersome and expensive safety guarding. This makes it simple and easy to move the light-weight robot around the production, addressing the needs of agile manufacturing even within small- and medium sized companies regarding automation as costly and complex. If the robots come into contact with an employee, the built-in force control limits the forces at contact, adhering to the current safety requirements on force and torque limitations. Intuitively programmed by non-technical users, the robot arms go from box to operation in less than an hour, and typically pay for themselves within 195 days. Since the first UR robot entered the market in 2009, the company has seen substantial growth with the robotic arms now being sold in more than 50 countries worldwide.