While robots are still part of a somewhat remote future for many people out there, any of those working in the industrial sector can confirm that robotic technology has been a reality for decades. So much so that, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), almost three million industrial robots are working in factories worldwide.
Indeed, industrial robotics are already changing the way factories and industries operate, and have become an essential part of modern production processes, contributing to enhancing efficiency and productivity, as well as safety for human workers.
In this blog post, we take a look at 10 of the biggest companies in the world of industrial robotics, with a proven track record of cutting-edge innovation, together with an exciting newcomer to the industry —join us in this walkthrough!
The Significance of Robotics in the Industrial Sector
Industrial robots are capable of performing tasks that are repetitive, dangerous, or require a high degree of precision, freeing up workers to focus on higher-level tasks. These workhorses handle tedious, time-consuming, dirty, and dangerous jobs, so human workers can take on more valuable and rewarding tasks.
There is no doubt that industrial robots have become essential in today’s industrial landscape, and more and more companies worldwide are working to keep advancing these solutions so that they can add value by performing tasks that, nowadays, are still extremely inefficient or even unsafe. It is the case of Keybotic: our autonomous robot dog, Keyper, has been designed to carry out industrial inspections, a task traditionally performed by human operators at a high degree of personal risk. By hiring an autonomous robot dog, industrial plants can save time and money in their industrial inspections, achieve higher degrees of accuracy, and protect their human workers.
Top 10 Leading Robotics Companies
These companies are the ones standing at the forefront of all that innovation, and therefore those you should definitely keep an eye on!
Swedish-Swiss multinational corporation ABB was formed in 1988 when Sweden’s Allmänna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget and Switzerland’s Brown, Boveri & Cie merged to create ASEA Brown Boveri (ABB). Nowadays, they oversee operations in 100 countries with more than 100,000 employees.
The ABB Robotics business area, together with the Machine Automation Division, employs more than 11,000 people at over 100 locations in more than 53 countries. They are a true pioneer in robotics and digital services, providing innovative solutions for a diverse range of industries, from automotive to electronics to logistics, and have shipped more than 500,000 robot solutions globally.
Originally known as Nippodenso when it was founded in 1949, Denso Corporation is a global automotive components and robotics manufacturer that has grown into one of the leading suppliers of advanced automotive technology. Their components can be found in millions of vehicles around the globe, including Toyota, Honda, FCA, General Motors, Ford, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz.
In addition to this automotive business, its robotics division, Denso Robotics, has been a pioneer in the development of industrial robots for over five decades with over 120,000 robots installed worldwide.
Denso Robotics is one of the largest suppliers of advanced robotics systems, with a wide range of solutions that are used in industries such as manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare. They are recognized nowadays as the established leader in the small assembly industrial robotics segment, and therefore becoming one of the leading robotics companies of our time.
FANUC America Corporation, also known as Fanuc Corporation, started in 1954. It is one of the leading robotics companies in the field of factory automation, and its products are used in industries such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals.
The company’s portfolio of products includes industrial robots, CNC systems, and a wide range of factory automation solutions. Its robots are used for a variety of applications, including welding, painting, assembly, and material handling. With more than 100 models, FANUC offers the widest range of industrial robots in the world.
Established in 1915 in Japan, Yaskawa Electric has evolved from a motor manufacturer to an automation company and, later on, a mechatronics company.
In 1977, Yaskawa unveiled the MOTOMAN-L10, considered the predecessor of the modern industrial robot. Since then, they have shipped nearly 500,000 units all over the world.
Yaskawa’s robots are quite diverse in terms of their functions and can be used in a broad range of industries including electric and electronic equipment, semiconductor manufacturing, biomedical, food, medical products, and logistics.
Universal Robots Technologies
Formed in 2005 in Denmark, Universal Robots Technologies is an innovative robotics company with over 1,000 employees, spreading through over 20 countries.
Since the sale of their first collaborative robot in 2008, their main focus has been manufacturing safe, flexible, and easy-to-operate collaborative robots that automate and optimize repetitive and monotonous industrial processes.
Established in 1921 in Japan, multinational corporation Mitsubishi Electric is a global leader in the field of robotics and automation.
The company’s industrial robotics division specializes in vertically articulated robots for assembly, machine-tending, and tray-handling applications, providing solutions for packing, palletizing, tending, assembling, handling, or processing.
In addition to its industrial robots, Mitsubishi is also developing a range of service robots for use in healthcare, hospitality, and other industries, designed to assist humans in a variety of tasks, from cleaning and maintenance to patient care and assistance.
Founded in Japan in 1896, Kawasaki Heavy Industries is a multinational corporation that operates in various industries, including aerospace, defense, energy, and industrial equipment. They are renowned for being one of the first companies to manufacture industrial robots in Japan.
Kawasaki is a leading supplier of industrial robots and robotic automation systems with a broad product portfolio, able to service a wide range of applications across diverse industries. Their robots are used in various industries, such as automotive, electronics, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals.
In addition to industrial robots, its robotics division also offers advanced robot controllers, which allow for easy programming and integration of their robots into manufacturing systems.
Established in 1942 in Japan, Seiko Epson Corporation, commonly known as Epson, is a Japanese multinational electronics company and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of printers and information- and imaging-related equipment.
Their robotics division, Epson Robots, offers a product portfolio including one of the most extensive SCARA model ranges worldwide, 6-axis robots, controllers, and software, and providing a wide range of automation possibilities, with applications such as assembly, pick & place, packaging, screw driving, or lab analysis and testing.
The next corporation in our list of the 10 leading robotics companies, Zebra Technologies, was founded in 1969 in the US and has today more than 128 offices spreading across 55 countries.
While its main business is the manufacture of marking, tracking, and computer printing technologies, it counts on a robotics division after acquiring Fetch Robotics, the pioneer of on-demand automation, in 2021. This business area focuses on the manufacture of robotic solutions for material movement and picking.
One of the newest additions to this leading robotics companies list, iRobot was established in the US in 1990 with the goal of creating robots that could be put to practical use.
Probably, their best-known product is the Roomba, an autonomous vacuum cleaning robot that has truly revolutionized home hygiene products. As of now, iRobot has sold more than 30 million home robots and has deployed more than 5,000 defense & security robots.
An exciting newcomer: Keybotic
After reviewing the top 10 leading robotics companies worldwide, we cannot miss the opportunity to introduce you to one of the newest companies in the sector, which is already revolutionizing the way in which industrial inspections are performed.
We established Keybotic in Barcelona, Spain, in 2020, with the goal of providing the industrial sector with autonomous 4-legged robots designed to conduct industrial inspections, delivering consistently reliable performance, and working collaboratively with human teams to improve their safety at all times.
Focused on companies within the Chemical, Oil&Gas, Energetic, and Mining sectors, at Keybotic we are already deploying Keyper, our autonomous robot dog, at industrial sites all over Spain, where companies are being able to confirm the enormous value they bring in terms of increased productivity, decreased downtime, and greater safety for all human personnel.
If you would like to get to know Keybotic better, check out our Technology page!