The global disinfection robots market was valued at USD 280.00 million in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 1.41 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 31.02% during the forecast period. The use of disinfection robots is growing across countries, particularly those facing high concentrations of pollution. The increase in industrial activities, urbanization, traffic pollution, and emissions from factories and household activities are the major drivers of the market. Major regions with growing demand include APAC, Europe, and North America. Moreover, the disinfection robot market is one of the growing markets in the electronic appliances industry. Disinfection robots' advantages include eliminating small and large pollutants, removing odors and dust particles, and eliminating mist.
Key countries in APAC, such as China, India, and Japan, were the early adopters of disinfection robots due to the high concentration of particulate matter inside vehicles. Disinfection robots capture excessive airborne pollutants from indoor sources, such as chemical fumes from paints, solvents, and furniture, and particles from cooking, heating, and lighting. The demand is expected to increase with the evolution in consumer behavior and activities leading to air pollution. Total volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases that paint, perfumes, and others emit. These VOCs cause health problems in the long term. Gases, particularly VOCs, have increased the indoor pollution rate. Hence, increased consumer awareness about health hazards due to air pollution has propelled the disinfection robots market at home, and other spaces are expected to rise.
MARKET TRENDS & DRIVERS
Evolution of Automated Guided Vehicles & Automated Mobile Robots
The demand for mobile robots and their use in hospitals has increased due to major demographic trends and decreased medical costs. For healthcare systems, automated systems are designed to handle laboratory samples, pharmacy medicines, bulk material, central supply, and transportation. By automating these supplies, operating efficiency increases, which allows workforce transfer to other activities or departments. Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV) are gaining attention to fulfill such activities, improving workflow. Also, additional features of control interface allow AGVs to navigate and signal lifts, navigate and activate through automatic doors, activate waste compactors, and deliver trolleys for cleaning and activating cart-washing systems.
Advancement of New Electric Disinfection Robots
The demand for disinfection robots has greatly increased due to COVID-19. Most of the available disinfection robots are equipped with a petrol-driven gun and an electric chassis. As the on-site refueling of robots is neither convenient nor clean, the development of purely electric disinfection robots was proposed to address the needs of affected areas better. Utilizing a broad mix of experience and expertise, a team initiated the development of a new type of robot in a short period. Such advancements can likely bring more opportunities in the disinfection robot market.
United Nations Agency Impacts
World Health Organization (WHO) has been very active in reducing the incidence of HAIs in healthcare settings. WHO has been working with government bodies of various countries to spread awareness about preventive strategies to minimize the occurrence of HAIs.
- It introduced its first set of guidelines to prevent HAIs way back in 2002. The impact of such guidelines to reduce HAIs was limited initially, which can be observed in the increased prevalence data.
- However, lately, there has been a strong push from various stakeholders, such as governments, payers, and regulatory bodies in the healthcare ecosystem, to reduce HAIs.
- Some of the essential efforts include staff re-education and increasing personal involvement in the day-to-day operations of healthcare facilities, posting large charts in the corridor of operating rooms, and tracking monthly surgical site infections (SSIs). Overall efforts are being directed to bring a cultural change among hospital staff and physicians and bring transparency in the process that ensures zero or negligible HAI cases.
Funding & Investments for Developing Disinfection Robots
The aggressive adoption of disinfection robots has increased demand and new large-scale investments worldwide, propelling the disinfection robots market. Across the board, such robots were deployed widely before the pandemic, followed by existing robotic platforms that can be adapted readily to address the most pressing current needs. Since existing platforms cater to the current demands, making investments will result in developing systems ready for future crises. Also, most companies are focusing on product line expansion to include disinfection robots integrating improved autonomous capabilities compared to existing products. Several companies are investing while supporting the robotic industry, providing greater control in shaping the future. Such investments mostly serve the pandemic response and post-pandemic recovery in various countries. One such investment was made recently by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Tru-D, a UVC disinfection robot that protects patients and staff from harmful pathogens.
Adoption of Modern Disinfectant Technologies
Over recent years, there has been a growing consensus to improve the disinfection and cleaning of environmental surfaces in healthcare facilities. It has been proven in many epidemiological studies that careful disinfection and cleaning of environmental surfaces, daily and at the time of patient discharge, are essential elements of effective infection prevention programs in healthcare settings. With the incorporation of the latest innovative techniques in healthcare disinfectants, there is an improvement in the overall design, composition, and features offered by various products, thereby leading to an upsurge in demand among end-users. Several manufacturers are engaged in the manufacturing of cleaning and odor removal products as well as EPA-registered disinfectants. With the expansion of such a portfolio of products, HCPs are receiving the best-in-class solutions to keep themselves and patients safe. Therefore, the wider availability of such advanced and effective disinfectants can be incorporated into disinfection robots, boosting the uptake of such products and propelling the disinfection robots market growth.
Limitations of Disinfection Robots
Robots can extend societal inequalities, as some organizations and individuals may be unable to access this technology. Moreover, the risk of propagating unconscious bias by robots always exists. Evidence demonstrates that there will be a risk of consequences that can be raised due to the small and homogeneous individuals involved in developing and testing data-driven technologies. The fear of losing jobs increased elderly isolation, and a decrease in patient contact with healthcare professionals is unavoidable with the advent of such robots. Such fears have resulted in violence against robots and hampered the disinfection robots industry growth. Replacing technological investment with other societal initiatives is a growing concern for public health.
INSIGHTS BY PRODUCT TYPE
One of the leading concerns in medical, clinical, and research facilities is microbial contamination control. Harmful or harmless microorganisms can risk patients, caregivers, and other personnel. Patients in hospitals and medical facilities have serious conditions or are immune-compromised, making them specifically susceptible to opportunistic microorganisms or secondary infections. Several disinfecting products were developed to decontaminate these critical spaces for such reasons. Two leading UV-C and hydrogen peroxide vapor methods have been incorporated into disinfection robots to allow decontamination in healthcare areas. These methods may differ in effectivity, cost, potential residual damage, and operational limitations. The Hydrogen Peroxide Vapor Disinfection Robot dominated the market and was valued at over USD 102 million in 2022. Hydrogen Peroxide Vapor Disinfection Robots (HPV) are another effective way to sterilize and disinfect surfaces contaminated with undesirable microorganisms. The biocidal mechanism of action for hydrogen peroxide is attributed to the chemical oxidation of cellular components that rapidly interrupts chemical processes vital to microbial survival and thus sterilizes the environment. For these reasons, HPV is used in many applications when personnel seek to disinfect environments contaminated by virulent microbes and dominates the product type segment in the global disinfection robots market.
INSIGHTS BY TECHNOLOGY TYPE
Commercial locations, including hotels, shopping malls, hospitals, and many others, require good sanitation and cleaning. People from diverse backgrounds interact with public spaces regularly. Some individuals may be ill and carry contagious pathogens. Cleaning and sanitation are becoming top priorities across all industries, particularly in public spaces, especially after COVID-19. Developed nations increasingly anticipate utilizing a UV disinfection robot to sanitize these locations rather than relying on people. Such factors help to boost the demand for fully and semi-autonomous disinfection robots in the global disinfection robots market.
INSIGHTS BY SENSOR TYPE
The disinfection robot consists of a mobile base equipped with multiple lidar sensors, such as ultrasonic and infrared, and an array of UV lamps mounted on top. The ultrasonic sensors segment held a dominant share of the global disinfection robots market 2022. Ultrasonic sensors calculate the distance between the sensor and the target. By measuring, an ultrasonic sensor transmits data to the controller. The controller will control the movement of the robot whenever the sensor readings reach a limit threshold. Furthermore, ultrasonic sensor disinfection robots are highly manufactured in North American countries and are expected to have stable growth in North American countries.
INSIGHTS BY CONTROLLER TYPE
The Wi-Fi controller type segment held the most prominent global disinfection robots market share in 2022. The smart disinfection robots, intended and developed as Wi-Fi-controlled devices, allow users to receive alerts, control the disinfection robots, and sync with other wireless devices. With the concept of smart homes and home automation, smart disinfection robots can trigger multiple smart home activities.
INSIGHTS BY END-USER
The global disinfection robots market by end-users can be segmented as healthcare facilities, biopharmaceutical industry, transport, hospitality, and others. The healthcare facilities segment emerged as the largest end-user segment in the market. Healthcare settings such as hospitals, laboratories, clinics, and others have an increased risk of HAIs that could severely affect the patients, healthcare staff, and workers. Many studies have reported the contamination of air and surfaces by pathogens, emphasizing the importance of disinfection in hospitals. WHO has introduced guidance for HCPs and standard operating procedures for cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces. Disinfecting healthcare facilities has been considered necessary to control and minimize such infections. Disinfection robots aim to ensure a sterile hospital environment without exposing individuals to unnecessary risk. The robots can disinfect a standard-size patient room in as quickly as 10 minutes using ultraviolet light and disinfect over 18 rooms in one charge.
INSIGHTS BY DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL
The offline distribution channel segment dominated the global disinfection robots market in 2022 and is projected to witness the highest segmental growth rate during the forecast period. Offline sales of disinfection robots remained high compared with online sales due to factors to be analyzed before purchasing disinfection robots. Also, consumers are more decisive while purchasing electronic products as they want to be sure about various parameters. Certain companies, particularly local vendors, do not have an online presence. Such factors also contribute to offline sales of disinfection robots. Increasing pollution rates, urbanization, industrialization, and other reasons contribute to the penetration of disinfection robots, which is also expected to increase offline sales.
Europe accounted for a dominant position in the global disinfection robots market by contributing the highest revenue share. The growing number of HAIs, better access to healthcare disinfectants, awareness for maintaining safety against infectious diseases, high healthcare expenditure, increasing demand for automated devices in healthcare, and presence of several prominent market players are the primary factors contributing to the significant market share. The rise in chronic diseases and COVID-19 patients, coupled with the growing need to create safe environments, is expected to drive the market's growth during the forecast period. Further, North America had the second-largest share in the global disinfection robots market in 2022. The presence of a vast patient population suffering from HAIs, the prevalence of infectious diseases, the growing need to maintain safe and hygienic conditions, government regulations to deploy disinfection services, and technological advancements are increasing the demand for disinfection robots in the region.
The global disinfection robots market is highly fragmented, with five major vendors dominating the market and a massive pool of emerging players and startups, boosting the market's growth. The major contributors to the global disinfection robots market include Blue Ocean Robotics, Xenex Disinfection Services, Taimi Robotics Technology, Nevoa, and XAG. Other emerging players include Akara Robotics, Ava Robotics, Bioquell, Engmotion, Finsen Technologies, Geekplus Technology, Grizzly, Mediland, Pudu Technology, and many others. The global industry is gaining attention due to the advent of COVID-19. In addition, several startups and emerging players offering disinfection robots are entering the market. These vendors exclusively offering disinfection robots are equipped with either a UV-C light system or disinfection spray system and sometimes both.
The global disinfection robots market is in a growth stage, and it has achieved popularity and high penetration in many countries, such as China, India, and the U.S. The industry has more players in these regions, making it more fragmented with intense competition. Technological innovations are further accelerating the growth of service robots. The integration of cloud technologies & 5G into remote surgical procedures, business models such as Robot-as-a-Service, and standardizations are being advanced into service robots. This, in turn, can be incorporated into disinfection robots, thereby enhancing their features and attracting customers. The market is witnessing the entry of several startups that can utilize such advancements.