Service Robotics exhibition sector

The cobot Sawyer from Rethink Robotics

From laboratory experiment to mega trend: Service robotics is a strong force that drives the automation industry. Whether in medicine, agriculture or the transportation sector: Service robots are taking over complex routine tasks in more and more application fields. They are flexible and autonomous, and their use improves quality and cuts costs.

Service Robotics exhibition sector at automatica 2018

automatica is the only leading trade fair that unites the entire range of professional service robotics and related key technologies. The exhibition sector is the perfect platform for manufacturers and suppliers. Present your developments in the following sectors at automatica:

Service robots for professional use:

  • Service robots in agriculture and forest management
  • Cleaning robots
  • Inspection robots
  • Construction and demolition robots
  • Service robots in logistics
  • Medical robots
  • Service robots for security, rescue and monitoring
  • Underwater robots
  • Mobile robot platforms
  • Public relations robots
  • Humanoid robots

Key technologies and components for service robotics:

  • Perception
  • Navigation
  • Manipulation
  • Man-machine interaction

Brief introduction—Fundamentals of service robotics

What characterizes a service robot?

Service robots come in various shapes and sizes, and they are used in a number of application fields. We quote the definition shared by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the International Federation of Robotics (IFR):

“A service robot is a robot that performs useful tasks for humans or equipment excluding industrial automation applications. Note: The classification of a robot into industrial robot or service robot is done according to its intended application.”

What is the difference between personal and professional service robots?

A personal service robot is used for non-commercial tasks and is generally operated by private individuals. For example, service robots are suitable as household assistants, automated wheelchairs, assistance robots to support mobility and in a number of other areas.

A professional service robot is used in commercial fields. It is generally operated by a trained specialist. Examples include robots for cleaning public facilities, delivery robots in offices and hospitals, firefighting robots, rehabilitation and surgical robots in hospitals and many more. In this context, an operator is a person who starts, monitors and ends a robot's intended task.

Profit from strong growth prospects

Personal service robots are experiencing strong growth around the world, although there have been relatively few products for mass markets up to now. Robots that are already in use include floor-cleaning and lawn-mower robots and robots for entertainment and education (edutainment).

However, visionary products such as higher-quality and more complex private and household robots with more capabilities are expected in the near future. This new generation will also help people to deal with societal challenges. Assistance robots support the elderly and people with restricted mobility. Robots that perform routine tasks in the household or ergonomically challenging tasks in the workplace provide a great deal of relief.

Professional service robotics has also become firmly established. It is currently experiencing rapid growth, particularly in agriculture, surgery, logistics and for underwater applications and security and rescue tasks.

Facts and figures for the service-robotics sector

According to an IFR study of the global service-robotics market, sales of robots for professional applications are on an upswing. The largest markets are agriculture, logistics and defense.

Professional service robotics is expected to play an even larger role in the future—on the market and at automatica. The latest forecasts suggest that the use of service robotics will continue to increase, particularly in agriculture, in the case of mobile platforms and in professional cleaning.*

  • The market generated nearly EUR 4.3 billion in sales in 2014.
  • With 25 million units sold in 2014, household robots in particular (vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, window cleaners, etc.) are expected to remain at the top of private consumers' wish lists in the future.
  • According to IFR statistics, manufacturers expect to sell more than 150,000 professional service robots worth EUR 17.2 billion* during the period from 2015 to 2018.
  • Sales of privately used service robots are expected to increase to an estimated 35 million units by 2018.

* Source: IFR,