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商业 - 科技

机器人领域呈现五大市场机遇

Jonathan Vanian 2015年11月11日

机器人行业已经进入繁荣期,而且短期内,其蓬勃发展的势头不会减缓。

    美银美林(Bank of America Merrill Lynch)本周发布最新报告就显示,2014年,全球机器人市场全年销售额达到107亿美元,创下历史记录。当年,包括相关软件和传感器在内,机器人技术市场的总价值已达320亿美元,预计到2020年,其市场规模将达到830亿美元。

    机器人市场的发展,得益于数据分析、微芯片和传感器等技术的进步,而随着技术演进,未来的机器人将变得更加灵活和强大,将可以执行更为复杂的任务,如测试微型电路板等。

    报告表示,机器人制造成本的持续下降,将使更多普通人有能力购买机器人。

    该报告披露的以下五个市场机遇,值得投资者关注:

    1. 机器人变得价格更低、能力更强大

    如果你想要一台可执行焊接任务的机器人,却没有足够的资金,不妨等一等。因为机器人的价格正在持续降低。2005年,一台焊接机器人的价格约为182,000美元。但去年,一款类似设备的价格已经下降到133,000美元,而且新设备变得更加敏捷,可以更好地理解周边环境信息。报告称,今天花100,000美元购买的机器人,比十年前花相同价格购买的机器人,可以执行的任务增加了一倍。

    2. 中国已是全球最大机器人购买市场

    2014年,中国购买了57,000台机器人,占全球机器人销量的四分之一,连续两年成为全球最大的机器人市场。在这一年,中国每10,000名员工的机器人拥有量已达到35台。不过,对于同一指标,日本和德国分别达到约300至385台。因此,中国将继续在机器人市场追赶其他国家,以便解决人口老龄化和总劳动力参与率下降的问题。数量庞大的机器人员工将有望帮助中国制造业弥补这方面的不足。

    3. 汽车行业成为机器人消费大户

    自2010年以来,汽车行业的机器人购买量一直领先于其他所有行业。报告称,2014年,汽车公司购买的工业机器人占工业机器人总销量的近二分之一。这部分原因在于,汽车和卡车等制造业需要大量工作,机器人可以满足此类重复性劳动,而成本却远低于工人工资。例如,在美国,一名点焊工人的时薪约为25美元,而机器人每小时的成本仅有8美元。有些汽车公司非常重视他们的机器人,甚至为它们取了特殊的名字。例如,特斯拉(Tesla)便以动漫中的超级英雄们为其机器人命名,如金刚狼和X教授等。

    4. 机器人是否会抢走你的饭碗?有可能!

    任何一份有关机器人的报告,都不得不承认一个事实,即人类担心机器人会抢走自己的工作。美银美林的报告也指出,在许多行业,机器人可能会取代人类,尤其是汽车制造业。但随着机器人将人类从枯燥的重复性劳动中解放出来,未来会有出现新的工作机会。在刚刚结束不久的“2015《财富》全球论坛”上,众多机器人专家针对职场中的机器人技术展开讨论,争论的结果与上述观点不谋而合。

    5. “千禧一代”更易于信任由机器人处理财务问题

    在未来,金融行业将可以利用机器人技术和人工智能的进步,创造出了一种所谓的“机器人分析师”岗位,也就是由电脑计算分析数并为银行客户提供理财建议。报告称,富有的“千禧一代”“比其他群体更有可能信任科技,在理财咨询服务方面也不例外。”这方面巧合有一个最新的例证。据彭博社报道,美国银行正在开发机器人顾问,将负责处理低于250,000美元的账户。(财富中文网)

    译者:刘进龙/汪皓

    The robot industry is experiencing a boom period that’s not likely to slow anytime soon.

    Bank of America Merrill Lynch BAC 3.81% released a report this week that said that annual global sales of robots reached a record $10.7 billion in 2014. The authors valued the overall market for robotic technologies, which also includes related software and sensors, at $32 billion for the same year. By 2020, the authors expect the robot market to be worth $83 billion.

    The growth comes amid advancements in data analytics, microchips, and sensors. Because of the improved technology, robots are more flexible, powerful, and can perform more complicated tasks like testing tiny circuit boards.

    The cost of robots is going down as well, which has made buying a robot more affordable, the authors said. Here are five interesting tidbits from the report:

    1. Robots are getting cheaper and more powerful

    If you always wanted a robot that can weld but couldn’t afford one, just wait. The price is dropping. In 2005, welding robots cost roughly $182,000. But last year, a similar machine that was more nimble and could better understand its surroundings cost $133,000. Spending $100,000 for a robot today will get you a machine that can do twice as much as a robot 10 years ago that used to cost the price, the report said.

    2. China is the biggest buyer of robots

    China bought 57,000 robots in 2014, representing a quarter of all robots sold worldwide. This is second year in the row that China led the world in buying robots as it plays catch-up to other countries. In 2014, China had 35 industrial robots per 10,000 employees. But both Japan and Germany have around 300 to 385 industrial robots per 10,000 employees, according to the report. One of the reasons China is buying a lot of robots is because of an aging population and a decline in the overall labor force participation rate, the authors wrote. An influx of robots could help the country’s manufacturing sector compensate.

    3. The automotive industry is buying a ton of robots

    It takes a lot of work to build cars and trucks. Since 2010, the automotive industry has led all other sectors in buying robots. In 2014, the authors write that auto companies bought almost one out of every two industrial robots sold. They perform repetitive task more cheaply than humans, the authors said. In the U.S., for example, the report said that it costs nearly $25 an hour for a human to spot weld while a robot costs only $8 an hour. On a side note, the authors write that some auto companies value their robots so much, they give them special names. Tesla TSLA 0.25% , for example, names some of their robots after famous comic book superheroes like Wolverine and Professor X.

    4. Will robots take your jobs? Maybe

    You can’t have a report on robots without acknowledging people’s fears that robots could replace them on the job. The authors said that it’s likely robots will replace humans in many industries, pointing to the auto industry, in particular. But new jobs could emerge as robots free people from performing menial and repetitive tasks. This sentiment was echoed at a recent discussion on robotics in the workplace by a panel of robotic experts at this year’s Fortune Global Forum.

    5. Millennials are more likely to trust robots to handle their finances

    The finance industry is taking advantage of advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence to create so-called robo-analysts, essentially computers that calculate numbers and give financial advice to banking clients. The report said that affluent millennials are more likely to “place a great deal of faith in technology compared to other generations and this is no different in financial advisory services.” Coincidentally, a Bloomberg report on Friday said that Bank of America is developing a robo-advisor that will handle accounts less than $250,000.

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