Taking into account the impact of Covid-19, the ResearchandMarkets revised its estimation of the global smart manufacturing market size in 2020. Post Covid-19, the market is worth $181.3 billion in 2020, which is about 16% lower compared to the pre-Covid-19 evaluations. Despite the drop in 2020, however, their report, “COVID-19 Impact on Smart Manufacturing Market by Enabling Technology”, predicts that the market will grow at a CGAR of 4% over the next five years and will grow to $220.4 billion by 2025.

KT, the largest telecommunications service provider in South Korea, introduced 5G self-driving carts at its logistics center. The use of self-driving carts which can be controlled and monitored remotely nearly halved employee’s travel range for loading and transporting inventory at KT’s Seobu Distribution Center. In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the technology can be a useful solution to reduce person-to-person contact, and KT plans to provide 5G autonomous carts and control systems at hospitals, libraries and various other industrial sites.

Geek+ Robotics launched a pair of disinfection robots which are designed to help keep facilities free of any viruses and germs that pose health risks. One of the robots, “Lavender”, is equipped with smart ultraviolet rays while the other one, “Jasmin”, uses liquid agents to conduct swift and automated sterilization. Both types of robots can operate automatically with automatic obstacle avoidance and are designed to work 24/7 in all types of spaces, including warehouses, offices, schools, stores, stations, and hospitals.

A 5G-enabled smart factory was established in Kranj, Slovenia by a joint-venture from Telekom Slovenije and Iskratel, a digital transformation company. Considering the concerns on the potential health impact, the companies measured the level of electromagnetic radiation of the 5G base station in the production facilities. The results of the test conducted by the Institute for Non-Ionizing Radiation (INIR), an independent and accredited national organization, showed that the level of radiation is far below the warning values.

Mitsubishi Electric launched its first series of collaborative robots named “Melfa Assista” and an intuitive engineering software, RT VisualBox, for “quick, easy system deployment” which includes features such as simplified application development, quick setup via dedicated control panel and easy monitoring of robot status via LED light. The combination of the new cobots and RT VisualBox will make production more efficient while reducing the total cost of ownership of robotic manufacturing systems.