The global snake robots market size is expected to expand at a significant CAGR over the forecast period as these next generation units offer an exclusive movement mechanism and provide systems that help to improve traditional open surgery process. In addition, widening base of geriatric population worldwide and continuous advancements in technology along with increasing research and development activities are among the primary growth stimulants for the market.
Aged people are more susceptible to chronic disorders and to treat this particular demographic, the need for robotic surgical devices is higher. These devices are being increasingly acknowledged by surgeons worldwide for their high accuracy. Automated process revolution in communications and surgery is being implemented through robots. Snake robots are highly accurate in nature owing to their improved penetration levels in confined and highly impenetrable spaces during surgery.
They are self-contained portable devices and can be considered upgradation of existing systems, which is a new technique that benefits users by providing efficient access to confined spaces with improved speed, specificity, and accuracy. Rising awareness regarding their benefits are projected to rev up adoption rate of snake robots across the globe. They also provide a reusable, precise, and controlled ability to perform procedures in small hazardous environments such as nuclear gas reactors.
Growing collaborations among manufacturers and end users are estimated to work in favor of the market. For instance, OC Robotics entered in a contract with the U.S Air Force in 2013 for development of non-destructive snake robotic arms that can reach inside aircraft wings and help in cleaning and maintenance of them.
Confined spaces may occur naturally or by failure/accidents. They are present in different systems of a living being and in manmade structures such as aircraft engines, automobiles, pipelines, roads, and buildings. Thus, the scope of applications of snake robots ranges from the healthcare to manufacturing industries.
These devices help in improving conventional open surgery or replace them with minimally invasive surgery. They merge the number of minimally invasive access ports to one and hence eliminate the need for open surgery. Robotic surgery techniques have emerged to be fitting solution for minimally invasive surgery, radiation treatment, drug therapies, and evolving interventional surgical methods and help in replacing conventional open surgery.
Several research organizations and universities across the globe such as Carnegie Mellon University are undertaking initiatives for R&D activities for development of snake robots for search and rescue purpose. These devices find wide application in the aviation and aerospace industry, industrial processing plants, medical field, nuclear reactors, and ship building. Surging demand for patient care and continuous monitoring is anticipated to have a positive impact on the growth of the snake robots market.
North America is estimated to hold a sizeable share in the market during the forecast period due to high investments by various enterprises in order to improve productivity and operational efficiency of systems. In addition, a large number of key players are headquartered in North America, which gives it an edge over other regions. Intuitive Surgical Inc. is one of the major stakeholders catering to the market in the U.S.
Asia Pacific is expected to witness lucrative growth over the forecast period due to growing geriatric population base and rising disposable income of the populace. Improving business facilities and infrastructure and increasing demand for snake robots are among the key factors augmenting the regional market.
Key players in the market include FANUC Corp.; Intuitive Surgical Inc.; HiBot; Medrobotics Corp.; OC Robotics; Sarco; Hirose; and Fukushima Lab ACM. Some of the prominent companies operating in the market are Kawasaki Robotics, Applied Robotics Technologies, Mitsubishi, Kuka, Yaskawa, Tesla, University of Michigan Mobile Robotics Lab, OmnitTread, and Tokyo Institute of Technology Research Laboratories.
Most of the players in the global snake robots market are focusing on competitive strategies such as new product launch, collaborations, and acquisitions to increase their market share. In November 2015, Medrobotics Corp. raised funds for commercialization of its Flex Robotic System, which consists of features of both endoscopes and laparoscopes. This tool is reported to help in reducing invasiveness of ear, nose, and throat surgeries.
In February 2016, OC Robotics in collaboration with TWI Ltd developed a snake robot named as LaserPipe snake robot. This robot can slither into a metal pipe and identify sections that are needed to be repaired and fixes them with the help of a laser weld.
Research Support Specialist, USA