One of the sectors that has survived the coronavirus onslaught is technology. The broader sector has shown great resistance during the health scare-driven slump and some of its sub-sectors are emerging as winners.
Robotics is one area that has become a viable investment option banking on its innovation and progress through years. In fact, development in machine learning (ML) and manufacturing infrastructure has provided this market with substantial support even during the pandemic.
Robotics Growth to Continue Post-Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has brought changes to the immediate trajectory of the robotics industry. Lockdowns and social-distancing norms have spiked demand for commercial and consumer automated applications. Robots are now doing several human jobs with minimal supervision, with most humans confined indoors.
In fact, the pandemic has shed light on the economic necessity of a technology-enhanced workforce. These technologies can work efficiently, seamlessly and at a much cheaper cost compared to the human workforce.
As a result of the outbreak, robotics now is no longer confined to advanced economies or the factory floor. Countries had begun using advanced robotics for medical purposes, surveillance and much more. Robots are now being used as an interface between a doctor and a patient and they can carry out diagnostic and treatment processes. This reduces the human contact and risk of transmission of coronavirus infection.
In the past few months, robotics also ventured into areas like logistics and hospitality. Recently, a fast food restaurant in South Korea adopted robot staff. Customers place the order at the kiosk which is sent automatically to the kitchen. In the kitchen, an automated cooking machine heats the buns and patties and human staff add toppings to the cooked ingredients before wrapping them and passing them over to a robot to serve. In this way, the customer makes no direct contact with the staff.
Similarly, Pepper, a high robot with human-like features, is already in operation in some countries welcoming visitors to shops, exhibitions and other public spaces. The robot scans the faces of people approaching it, and if it detects that the lower half of their face is uncovered, it asks the visitor to wear a mask.
These are a few examples of robots being used in daily life, and with changing consumer habits these bots may become permanent, even after the coronavirus pandemic ends. In fact, many companies that hadn't considered using robots at all until now are now using them in daily operations. In several areas robots and humans are expected to work hand in hand. With growth in automated platforms and the adoption of technologies like AI and ML, most experts see collaborative robotics (cobots) as the future of the robotics industry.
Per a report by Statista, the global market for robots is expected to see a CAGR of around 26% to reach just under $210 billion by 2025. Additionally, it is predicted that this market will hit the $100-billion mark in 2020.
Innovative Robotics Expands
While robotics stocks offer great opportunities for growth investors, the recent adoptions have accelerated the industry’s growth by leaps and bounds. After healthcare, defense and heavy industry, automation and robotics are going to change the world over the next decade in hospitality and domestic services.
From swifter delivery of essential medical supplies to more efficient recycling, companies are putting robotics to work in daily activities. Companies like Simbe Robotics have designed Tally robots that conduct inventory checks, giving employees more time to serve customers. These robots have already roamed 25,000 miles of store aisles for merchants such as Giant Eagle grocers and Decathlon Sporting Goods.
Similarly, AMP Robotics teaches its robotic recycling system to efficiently sort waste-material streams. With the help of ML algorithms, the robot is shown millions of images of items that it might come across while separating recyclables from landfill. Installations such 14-robot systems in Sarasota, FL, have helped make recycling cost-effective.
4 Stocks to Buy
The upward trajectory of the robotics industry opens up opportunities for investors to earn solid returns. Hence, we have shortlisted four stocks that carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) andcan make the most of the growth. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Teradyne, Inc. TER designs, develops, manufactures, sells, and supports automatic test equipment. The company is engaged in building cobots that are low-cost, easy-to-deploy and can work side-by-side with production workers to improve quality and efficiency. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved 24.4% north over the past 60 days.
ABB Ltd ABB manufactures and sells electrification, industrial automation, motion, and robotics and discrete automation products for customers in utilities, industry and transport, and infrastructure worldwide. The company is a supplier of industrial robots and robot software, equipment and complete application solutions. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved up 11.1% over the past 60 days.
Brooks Automation, Inc. BRKS provides automation and cryogenic solutions. Its products include atmospheric and vacuum robots, robotic modules, and tool automation systems that offer precision handling and clean wafer environments and more. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has risen 29.6% over the past 60 days.
Globus Medical, Inc. GMED is a medical device company, focused on the development and commercialization of implants that heal patients with musculoskeletal disorders. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has climbed 31.8% over the past 60 days.
More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!
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