Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots.
Robots are machines capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, either programmed by a computer or using artificial intelligence (AI).
Advances in AI have enabled the development of robots, allowing them to become overly complex products rather than the standalone, fixed-function machines they used to be.
This, in turn, has increased the number of roles that robots can perform.
Robots have become progressively cheaper, smarter, more flexible and easier to train.
This makes it easier for robots to infiltrate new industries and spawn new use cases at scale, including mining.
With compounding advances in technology, robots are being redefined as physically embodied AI agents.
Our GlobalData robotics dashboards bring you all the data and information on robotics in mining.
Hiring trends for mining robotics companies
The proportion of mining industry operations and technologies companies hiring for robotics-related positions rose significantly in April 2022.
These figures are compared with the equivalent month last year, with 33.8% of the companies included in our analysis recruiting for at least one such position.
This latest figure was higher than the 14.5% of companies that were hiring for robotics-related jobs a year ago and an increase compared to the figure of 26.9% in March 2022.
Job growth in mining robotics companies
When it came to the rate of all job openings that were linked to robotics, related job postings rose in April 2022, with 0.8% of newly posted job advertisements being linked to the topic.
This latest figure was the same as the 0.8% of newly advertised jobs that were linked to robotics in the equivalent month a year ago.
Robotics is one of the topics that GlobalData, from which our data for this article is taken, has identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years.
Companies that excel and invest in these areas now are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.
Leaders and disruptors in mining robotics companies
Our leader and disruptor list for each theme is based on our analysts’ in-depth knowledge of the theme and the players involved in that theme.
These are based on subjective opinions supported by research and analysis.
Leader lists consider global market share, position in the value chain and ability to react to emerging, disruptive trends.
Disruptor lists consider funding, strategic partnerships, and the track record of the management team.
Robotics-driven innovation in the mining sector
With an analysis of patent filings, we can reveal the top companies for robotics-related applications in the industry over the past year. Research and innovation in robotics in the mining operations and technologies sector have stagnated in the last quarter.
The most recent figures show that the number of robotics-related patent applications in the industry stood at 11 in the three months ending March – down from 16 over the same period in 2021.
Figures for patent grants related to robotics followed a different pattern to filings – stagnating from five in the three months ending March 2021 to five in the same period in 2022.
Landscape for mining robotics companies
Robotics is a fast-growing industry. According to GlobalData forecasts, it was worth $45bn in 2020, and by 2030, it will have grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29% to $568bn.
GlobalData expects every segment of the robotics market to grow over the next decade. Industrial robots will function as a growth driver as innovation in the segment will spill over to other areas.
Filings and patents for mining robotics companies
GlobalData tracks patent filings and grants from official entities around the world.
Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas and linked to key companies across various industries.
Robotics is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData.
It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.
The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.
Honeywell International was the top robotics innovator in the operations and technologies sector of the mining industry during the latest quarter.
The company, which has its headquarters in the US, filed four robotics-related patents in the three months ending March. That was the same as four over the same period in 2021.
It was followed by the US-based Caterpillar with two robotics patent applications, Australia-based Orica (two applications), and Sweden-based Epiroc (one application).
Growth forecasts for mining robotics companies
According to GlobalData forecasts, the robotics industry was worth $45.3bn in 2020.
By 2030, it will have grown at a CAGR of 29% to $568bn. Annual growth rates will peak at 37% in 2024.
Sales of industrial robots hit $14.6bn in 2020, equivalent to 32% of the total robotics market.
By 2030, this segment will be worth $352bn, having grown at a CAGR of 38% between 2020 and 2030.
At $30.7bn in 2020, the service robot market was larger than the industrial robots sector.
However, the industrial robots market will grow faster over the next decade. The industrial robotics market will be worth $352bn by 2030.