Staff Shortage Boosts Service Robots – Sales Up 48% 


Frankfurt — The total number of service robots sold for professional use hit 158,000 units in 2022 – an increase of 48%. Shortage of staff is a strong driver for companies to automate. 

“The service robot industry is developing at a fast pace,” says Marina Bill, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “Shortage of skilled workers and a lack of staff applying for service jobs boosts demand. IFR identified almost 1,000 service robot suppliers worldwide delivering autonomous services.”

Five top applications for professional service robots by units sold:

Mobile robot solutions in transportation and logistics established a strong market share: more professional service robots were built for the transportation of goods or cargo, than any other function. Sales grew by 44% with more than 86,000 units sold in 2022. Robot sales for open indoor environments with public traffic were up 78% and reached almost 37,300 units. Many of these robots are intended for food and beverage delivery in restaurants.

Hospitality robots enjoy growing popularity: More than 24,500 units (+125%) were sold in 2022. Robots for mobile guidance, information, and telepresence account for most of these robots.

Sales of medical robots were down 4% to about 9,300 units. Almost 4,900 surgery robots (+5%) were sold, but sales of robots for rehabilitation and noninvasive therapy were down 16% to less than 3,200 robots.

Robotics sales in agriculture grew by 18% with almost 8,000 units shipped in 2022. More than 5,800 robots (+9%) were sold for agricultural tasks like milking and barn cleaning. The lack of human workforce in agricultural regions and demand for more sustainable agriculture make service robots a key player in this market.

The market for professional cleaning robots grew by 8% and reached almost 6,900 units sold. The main application is floor cleaning with 4,900 units sold – up 10%. This represents more than 70% of shipments in this application group.

Service robots for consumer use

Service robots for consumer use are produced for a mass market, which makes it a very different segment compared to service robots for professional use. Sales of robots for consumer use reached about 5.1 million units in 2022 vs. 158,000 units sold for professional use.

Today, we find the strongest consumer demand in areas of domestic household robots. Almost 4.9 million robots were sold in 2022. The most used application is indoor domestic floor cleaning with about 2.8 million robots sold. Robot vacuums are common in private households for many years now. Apart from cyclical volatility, IFR´s statistical department predicts growth potential in the low double-digit range over the next few years.

Like robot vacuums, gardening robots are already familiar in people´s daily live: Sales of lawn mowing robots reached 1.1 million units in 2022.

Social interaction and education robots are the second largest consumer application group with 157,000 units sold in 2022. While sales of education robots reached almost 104,000 units, shipments of social interaction and companion robots were reported with about 53,000 units.

Please note: World Robotics Service Robots report is sample data. Data is NOT projected to the whole industry. Sample composition varies each year. Compiling or comparing data from different World Robotics Reports is strongly discouraged. All numbers at World Robotics Service Robots 2023 report are based on a sample of 239 companies.

Video WORLD ROBOTICS 2023 press conference at our YouTube channel:

Downloads IFR graphs and market presentation are available at:

About IFR The International Federation of Robotics is the voice of the global robotics industry. IFR represents national robot associations, academia, and manufacturers of industrial and service robots from over twenty countries:

The IFR Statistical Department provides data for two annual robotics studies:

World Robotics – Industrial Robots: This unique report provides global statistics on industrial robots in standardized tables and enables national comparisons to be made. It presents statistical data for around 40 countries broken down into areas of application, customer industries, types of robots and other technical and economic aspects. Production, export and import data is listed for selected countries. It also offers robot density, i.e. the number of robots per 10,000 employees, as a measure for the degree of automation.

World Robotics – Service Robots: This unique report describes marketable products, tasks, challenges and new developments by service robots application. The report includes the results of the annual IFR service robot survey on global sales of professional and consumer service robots and an industry structure analysis including a full list of all service robot producers known to the IFR. The study is jointly prepared with the robotics experts of Fraunhofer IPA, Stuttgart.

About The Author