Social distancing measures imposed following the outbreak of coronavirus have given robots a crucial role to play. Bots have been used in warehouses, factories and even in agriculture in the past few years, thanks to their fast, accurate and tireless features. But, with the deadly infection creating havoc globally, these bots limit contact between individuals and contain the spread.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, robots have filled up several job vacancies caused by social distancing orders. From delivery, decontamination, environment cleanup, healthcare, surveillance to police patrol, robots have filled gaps and prevented business closures.
Contactless Culture Boost Robotics
Robots have been constantly helping in minimizing the amount of human contact around hospitals and grocery stores, from checking patient’s temperature, sanitizing high-touch surfaces to restocking shelves. Moreover, robots have proved efficient in, doing frontline, mundane jobs while skilled workers focus on critical work.
With social distancing orders in place, several businesses had to take necessary steps to overhaul their operations with automation and robotics technology. Walmart had begun rolling out inventory robots at 1,000 of its U.S. stores, at the beginning of this year. At present the retail giant is using self-driving stock delivery robots across 1,860 stores, while many other bots are being used at loading docks to scan and sort boxes.
The pandemic has made companies look for alternatives to human workforce and many have been investing to make such changes in delivery mode. Implementation of click and collect, curbside pickups, smart lockers are a few among these alternatives. But, faster and better delivery of products is a concern and delivery robots would fill up this void.
The use of contactless delivery robots has aided in conducting logistic operations during the pandemic. Companies like Postmates have been using ground delivery robots to deliver food and grocery in several cities. And the trend is not restricted in the United States. The Switzerland government had tested the use of robots for mail delivery through Swiss Post.
Delivery robots were being tested in several parts of the world. However, this coronavirus pandemic is now likely to re-shape the future of robotics at large. The global autonomous delivery robot market was valued a $0.24 million in 2019. The markets are expected to be worth $2.57 million by 2025, registering a CAGR of 49.1% during 2020-2025.
With demand for contactless delivery expanding exponentially, many autonomous delivery robot companies are seeing a massive opportunity to grow. For instance, Venezia’s New York Style Pizza in Phoenix, started delivering pies last month, with the help of Starship robot. The robots are sanitized inside-out and pies are placed inside, the robot then travels to customers within a half-mile radius and can even operate in snowy conditions.
Stocks in Focus
Given the advancement of robots and their application in our daily lives, it looks like even after the coronavirus dissipates these machines will enjoy a boom time. Here are five robotics and related stocks investors should closely watch.
Accuray Incorporated ARAY designs, develops and sells radiosurgery and radiation therapy systems for the treatment of tumors in the body. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter is more than 100% against the Zacks Medical - Instruments industry’s projected earnings decline of 7.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 100% over the past 60 days. Accuray carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
NVIDIA Corporation NVDA is a Zacks Rank #2 visual computing company. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 28.7% against the Zacks Semiconductor - General industry’s projected earnings decline of 21%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 0.4% over the past 30 days.
PTC Inc. PTC is a Zacks Rank #2 software and services company. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 40.2% against the Zacks Computer - Software industry’s projected earnings decline of 4.6%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 4.6% over the past 30 days.
AeroVironment, Inc. AVAV offers unmanned aircraft systems. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter is more than 100% against the Zacks Aerospace - Defense Equipment industry’s projected earnings decline of 26.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 8.6% over the past 90 days. AeroVironment carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
ABB Ltd ABB manufactures and sells electrification, industrial automation, motion, and robotics and discrete automation products. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 10.5% against the Zacks Manufacturing - Electronics industry’s projected earnings decline of 11.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 35.6% over the past 60 days. ABB carries a Zacks Rank #3.
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