IFR press release

President's Report

Åke Lindqvist, IFR-President

Dear members,

World Robotics 2009 is published today! For the first time we have two separate studies:

  • World Robotics 2009 - Industrial Robots
  • World Robotics 2009 - Service Robots

The content of both studies has been improved and augmented. With new chapters on future trends, research projects and visions of industrial robots and service robots, a more detailed analysis of the statistics as well as improved forecasting, World Robotics is truly becoming the international standard and benchmark for robotics statistics.

Regarding the upsetting situation we see in 2009 we should not forget the relative success of the robotics industry between 2005 and 2008. It should be noted that during 2007 and 2008 the shipment of robots was stagnating from a rather high level, only about 6% less than the peak level of 2005. The global economic crisis put a halt for the time being to a worldwide trend toward robotic automation.

The IFR Statistical Department reports:
"The trends in the manufacturing industries can be summarized in one term: "Green Automation". Energy-efficiency, reduction of CO² output and quality management are the main factors of future production processes in all industries. In order to meet these challenges the manufacturing industry will be forced to continue to automate. The successful robot suppliers will be the ones that can have the right solutions for the industry provided, directly or through partner companies, in order to face the challenges ahead. After the substantial fall of robot sales in 2009, an increase is expected to resume in the period between 2010 and 2012 potentially about 15% per year on average attaining a level of more than 100,000 units."
I agree with the IFR Statistical Department. The success story of robotics is likely to resume and go on.

The TIROS show in Taipei, which was organized by our member ROBOAT (Robotics Association Taiwan) still very much, felt the effects of the economic crisis. But the Asian Robotics Forum 2009 and the International Conference on Intelligent Robotics Technology and Business - which run parallel to the show - informed on innovative research projects and solutions in the field of industrial and service robots. The high potential for robotics in the manufacturing sectors and in the non-manufacturing sectors became evident.

I also had the opportunity - together with the IFR Secretary General, Gudrun Litzenberger - to address the Asian Robotics Forum about IFR's view in the future of robotics.

Now we are looking forward to the big IREX show in Tokyo from November 25 - 28, 2009. This event should be the start-up of the recovery of our industry.

The call for papers for the 41st International Symposium on Robotics (ISR 2010, June 7 - 9, 2010) and the IERA Award 2010 (June 8, 2010) are dispatched all over the world.

These robotic events will take place in Munich together with the 6th German Conference on Robotics (ROBOTIK 2010, June 7 - 9, 2010), the AUTOMATICA 2010 (June 8 - 10, 2010) and the INTERSOLAR (June 9 - 11, 2010). Where else do we have the chance to see the future of robotics? We will meet researchers, suppliers and customers of robots from all over the world. Finally, on June 9, the robotics community will meet for the ISR dinner and celebrate the winners of the Engelberger Awards and the winner of the IERA Award.

As we progress toward a global economic recovery, we can certainly conclude that in the near future the robotics industry worldwide will emerge stronger and more prosperous than ever before!

Kind Regards

Åke Lindqvist
IFR President