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Robot spending will hit $188 billion by 2020, report predicts

Robotics and related services are expected to reach new heights, driven by an expanding market.


An LG robot from CES 2017.

Chris Monroe/CNET

While robots were a big part of the conversation at CES 2017, this was largely driven by cute consumer bots like Kuri and by smart home devices like Amazon's Alexa, which are robot-like minds detached from traditional robot bodies.

But in the long term, market researcher IDC sees these strains as less important than commercial and industrial robots, which, along with drones and robot-related services, could become a $188 billion worldwide market by 2020, only a few short years away.

"This growth is really fueled by a combination of technology improvements, expanded use cases, and acceptance in the market. Innovators in the field of robotics are delivering robots that can be used to perform a broader range of tasks, which is helping to drive the adoption of robotics into a wider base of industries," John Santagate, research manager of supply chain at IDC Manufacturing Insights, said in a statement Tuesday.

IDC's predictions can be found in its updated Worldwide Commercial Robotics Spending Guide.

New products from CES 2017: Check them out here.

CES 2017 -- what you shouldn't have missed: Didn't make it to Vegas? CNET shows you what you need to see here.