The space robots market is projected to register a CAGR of more than 6% during the forecast period.
- Space robots are used to perform activities, like space manufacturing, maintenance, exploration, servicing, and numerous other activities in space. They are designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions in space.
- With the boom in Industry 4.0, the advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence are helping the market by bringing innovative technologies into robots used in various space applications.
- The space sector is currently attracting huge investments, and the demand for activities, like space exploration, space mining, on orbit assembly, and debris removal is expected to further boost the market for space robots in the years to come.
Key Market Trends
Deep Space Segment is Projected to Register with the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period
In segmentation by application, currently, the deep space segment has the largest market share in the space robots market. There is an increase in the use of robots in deep space applications, as it is difficult for humans to sustain the harsh environmental condition in space, especially in deep space where living beings cannot survive. Space agencies and private firms are developing deep space robots that could function in hostile environments. For instance, NASA is currently working on its latest space-exploring robot, which is dubbed the Shapeshifter. It is a flying amphibious robot that has capabilities like rolling, flying, floating, and swimming. The robots are being developed by the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts research program, Ali Agha of the Jet Propulsion Lab. Once fully developed, the robots can explore Saturn's moon, Titan, which is known to have liquid (in the form of methane seas) on its surface. Such developments are expected to drive the market for the deep space robots in the years to come.
North America has the Largest Share in the Space Robots Market
Currently, North America has the largest share in the space robots market. Several private companies are developing space robots along with NASA for various applications. In February 2020, NASA awarded a USD 5 million contract to Maxar Technologies to deliver a robotic arm called Sample Acquisition, Morphology Filtering and Probing of Lunar Regolith (SAMPLR). The arm will be used to explore the moon by acquiring samples for determining the geotechnical properties of the moon. With the growing utilization of robots in space, NASA is currently working on developing modules for the storage of robots in space. In December 2019, NASA attached Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS), a protective storage unit for critical robotic tools, to the outside of the International Space Station. NASA also plans to increase the human and robotic collaborations for its other projects like the exploration of the Moon, Mars, and the deep space. However, during the forecast period, Asia-Pacific is expected to register the highest CAGR. Increasing investments in space robotics and the emphasis on the development of new space robots are the main growth drivers for the market in the region. For instance, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) unveiled its own half-humanoid robot, the Vyommitra in January 2020. The robot will be onboard the ISRO’s “Gaganyaan” crewed orbital spacecraft that will be launched in late 2020. Such developments are projected to boost the growth of the market in the region during the forecast period.
Northrop Grumman Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Maxar Technologies, BluHaptics Inc. (Olis Robotics), and ASTROBOTIC are some of the major players in the market. The space robots market has become fragmented over the years, due to the increasing advent of several startups into the industry in the past decade. Competition in the market is increasing, with various government space organizations developing their own robots or collaborating with private firms for sending robots to space. For instance, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), announced a research agreement with GITAI a robotics startup, to work together to put humanoid telepresence robots in space. Investment firms are showing a keen interest in the space robots industry, which is currently showing a lot of promise. For instance, a consortium led by Northern Private Capital (NPC), a Toronto-based investment firm, announced in December 2019 that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire MDA from Maxar Technologies for CAD USD 1 billion. The agreement is also expected to change the landscape of the competition in the market. With the growing opportunities in the space robots industry, players are further increasing their capabilities to gain new contracts and, thereby, increase their market presence.
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