The Intl. Federation of Robotics has released their 2012 books reflecting 2011 results, and projections for 2012-2015.
Bottom line: 2011 was very successful for industrial robot manufacturers and growth rates will be in double digits for years to come. 2011 sales of industrial robots 166,000 units; $8.5 billion in sales are up 38% from 2010 and expected to reach 181,000 robots for 2012. Service robot sales, which include every other type of robot, were up 9% from 2010 and reflected 16,408 units of which 32% were in the defense sector.
Personal and domestic robot sales were up 15% over 2010 and reflected 2.5 million units, $636 million in sales, mostly in toys and robot vacuums.
The two books cost $540 each but in-depth free summaries can be found here.
These are the most comprehensive recaps of what robots are tasked to do, how many of them are doing it, and how much revenue has accrued to the industry.
The charts and slides shown at this link accompanied the presentation of the announcement (at a press conference in Taipei) of the publication of the two books.