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This IDC study presents the IDC Worldwide Robotics team's analysis of key drivers relating to robotics, and how these drivers are likely to shape the development of robotics in the planning horizon of 2018 through 2021. The development and deployment of robotics in various industries continue to accelerate in 2017. We have also witnessed the rapid development and convergence of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, which in turn are accelerating the development of next generation of intelligent robots for industrial, commercial, and consumer applications. To better prepare and support the technology buyer community for the upcoming era of artificial intelligence–enabled robotics (which IDC defined as Robotics 3.0), IDC robotics analysts worldwide, in collaboration with IDC AI and analytics analysts, worked closely on the development of the top 10 robotics predictions, bringing together the collective knowledge of their regions, industrial verticals, and data points of how technology is being deployed across all industries as well as consumers.

"The advancement of robotics technology has entered into a new era of robotics with embedded and/or cloud-based artificial intelligence. In this new era of Robotics 3.0, intelligent robots are characterized by their ubiquitous sensing and connectivity, cyber-physical fusion, autonomous capabilities (such as cognition, decision making, and learning and adaptation), and more human-friendly multimode interaction. This development will have a profound impact on industrial robots and service robots (both commercial and consumer). Leading robotics technology vendors are already racing to develop and incorporate artificial intelligence capabilities into their product road map in order to stay ahead of the competition," says Dr. Jing Bing Zhang, research director, Worldwide Robotics and IDC Asia/Pacific Manufacturing Insights.



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