Market Report: AGV & AMR Robotics 2021

Executive Summary

Fragmented sector with significant growth in 2021 despite supply chain disruptions. High level of m&a activity. 2022 and beyond?

AGV & AMR robotics basics

  • There are three basic vehicle form factors in the agv & amr robotics sector: mouse, forklift and tugger
  • One of the key advantages of agv & amr robots is flexibility and vehicles are frequently customised to suit sometimes very specific customer applications
  • Customisation can range from a simple upgrade of motors and sensors to building a completely new robot
  • Payloads often vary greatly, from <50 kgs to >50 tonnes
  • A high product flexibility may have contributed to a degree of fragmentation in the sector

Business models & technology

  • Flexibility also expands to business models, navigation technology and component selection
  • Some vendors may offer a core product that is fully developed internally and add on products that use outsourced software whilst others may simply sell manual vehicles that are converted into autonomous vehicles
  • This level of flexibility means that it can often be difficult for new customers to identify differences between vendors and vehicles
  • Open source technology, such as ros, remained unsuitable for commercial applications, but had received significant backing by nvidia

The customer journey

  • Customers approached the agv & amr sector differently along a grey scale from novice to expert and buying robots versus solutions
  • Pilots and pocs remained a key sales tactic for the majority of vendors

Significant growth

  • Interviews suggested that growth returned in 2021 having been stagnant at best in 2020, and many vendors reported >50% growth
  • Growth was achieved despite the many supply chain challenges both for customers and for vendors
  • However, demand varied significantly between industry sectors and whilst f&b remained very busy throughout lockdowns and in 2021, the automotive sector froze projects during lockdowns and experienced significant supply chain issues in 2021

Random supply chain issues

  • Supply chain issues affected both vendors and customers
  • Customers sometimes lacked components to build their products which caused a delay to agv & amr projects
  • Vendors were affected by component price increases, longer delivery times (receiving components and shipping robots to customers) and occasionally out of stock components
  • Furthermore, raw material price increases were known to have affected some projects
  • Delays occurred when some customers held off buying racking for non critical projects due to increased steel prices, as agv & amrs are often scheduled at the end of a warehouse project

Lack of talent affecting growth?

  • Vendors and customers indicated there is a lack of talent in the sector and that this was affecting growth
  • Whilst access to talent has been an issue for years, explosive growth in e commerce had caused warehouse automation companies (incl. Amazon) to increase hiring
  • Customer interviews indicated that the lack of people had affected how many robots they could deploy, and also that some projects were on hold awaiting software integration

Growth in 2022 and beyond

  • Interviewees were split whether the very high growth levels experienced in 2021 would continue in 2022
  • Customer interviews suggested that the pandemic had changed how automation was viewed internally; facility managers had now experienced the worst case scenario and the result was an increasing interest in potential automation options
  • A few interviewees speculated that some of the growth in 2021 may have been a result of a few buyers accelerating procurement plans and that this may affect buying in 2022
  • Overall, stiqs impression was that supply chain and talent issues may have impacted total growth in 2021 by up to 10%

Sector investment and m&a

  • Publicly announced investments in agv & amr vendors declined by c.60% in 2021 compared to 2020
  • However, some vendors appeared to delay funding announcements to maximise pr opportunities
  • The agv & amr sector experienced three significant acquisitions in 2021: asti + abb, fetch + zebra and arculus + jungheinrich


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Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • Agv & amr robotics
    • Segmentation
    • Technology
    • Business models
  • Customer journey
    • Interview with user of agvs & amrs
    • Journey details
  • Growth
    • Agv & amr market
    • Growth by industry sector
    • Supply chain disruption
  • Agv & amr demographics
    • Vendor growth
    • Access to talent
  • Funding and m&a
    • Sector funding
    • Notable m&a transactions
  • Company profiles
  • Credits, interviewees & sponsor


  • Agilox (Director Product Mgmt)
  • Alstef Group (Sales Director Intralogistics)
  • Balyo (CEO)
  • Beta Robots (CEO & Co-founder)
  • BlueBotics (CEO)
  • Continental (Head of Product Line Intra Logistics)
  • DS Automotion (Head of Product Mgmt)
  • E80 Group (EVP of Sales)
  • EK Robotics (UK Managing Director)
  • Epiq Machinery (Product Manager AGV)
  • Filics (CEO & Co-founder)
  • FlexQube (CEO)
  • ForwardX (Director Global Expansion)
  • Geek+ (General Manager, Americas)
  • Geek+ (General Manager, M&F)
  • Gideon Brothers (Exec Operations Manager)
  • GIM Robotics (CEO)
  • Haul Automation (Co-founder)
  • idealworks (COO)
  • IncubedIT (Product Manager)
  • Indoorway (COO)
  • JBT Corp (Commercial Manager)
  • K Hartwall (EVP)
  • Karter (Commercial Director)
  • Kollmorgen (R&D Director)
  • Kudan (COO)
  • Linde Material Handling (Product Manager EMEA)
  • Logisnext (VP Logistics Solutions)
  • Lowpad (Sales Development Mgr)
  • MaxAGV (Sales Director)
  • Maxon (Drive Systems)
  • MIR (CMO)
  • Mobotic (Drive Systems)
  • NIDO (CEO)
  • Node Robotics (CEO & Co-founder)
  • Nvidia (Microprocessors)
  • Omron (EU Product Marketing Mgr)
  • Phantom Auto (CBO & Co-founder)
  • Proxima Robotics (CEO)
  • Seegrid (VP of Product)
  • Sevensense (CBDO)
  • SICK (Sensors)
  • SLAMcore (CEO)
  • Standard Robotics (Director of Overseas)
  • Steering Machines (CEO)
  • SVT Robotics (Sr Director of Marketing)
  • SYNAOS (CPO & Co-founder)
  • Syncware (CEO & Co-founder)
  • System Logistics (Head of UK)
  • The Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz (CEO)
  • Third Wave (CEO)
  • Varta (Battery & Power Systems)
  • Vecna Robotics (CEO)
  • Wiferion (Wireless Charging)

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The following information will be shared with STIQ (the author of this report).

A free membership of the Mobile Robot Directory is required to download our market reports. Your free membership is subject to our Terms of Service, please read them carefully before proceeding.