SINGAPORE (Jan 16): Investment in robotics and related services are expected to double from the current $60 billion to more than $133 billion in the Asia Pacific region by 2020.

The figures were part of IDC’s newly released Worldwide Commercial Robotics Spending Guide, which includes data on commercial and consumer purchases of drones, after-market drone hardware, on top of the spending on robotic systems, system hardware and software, robotics-related services and after-market robotics hardware.

At present, Asia Pacific is the fastest growing robotics market globally because of  China, Korea, and Japan. In fact, the region will represent over two thirds of worldwide robotics spending for the 5 year period from 2016 to 2020, and will account for more than 70% of global spend in 2020.

Breaking it down further, spending on robotic systems like industrial, service, and consumer robots and after-market robotic hardware is expected to grow to $64 billion by 2020. On the other hand, spending on robotics related services like application management, education and training, hardware deployment, system integration, and consulting, will grow to over $36 billion over the same period.

In 2016 alone, the biggest portion of robotics spend was for the manufacturing sector. Discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing respectively accounted for 33% and 28% of robotics spend. The other sectors with a significant investment in robotics include the resources, consumer, and healthcare sectors.

“Robotics continues to drive the current wave of industry transformation and upgrade, which is set to disrupt many aspects of business operations, leading to tremendous improvement in operational agility, responsiveness and customer experience,” said Zhang Jing Bing Zhang, IDC Asia Pacific’s research director for worldwide robotics and Asia Pacific manufacturing insights.