Is defence seeing the beginnings of a robotics investment boom?
// Robot controllers. Credit: QinetiQ
Fujitsu and Honeywell International are leading the way for artificial intelligence investment among top aerospace, defence and security companies, according to our analysis of a range of GlobalData data.
The aerospace, defence and security industry is seeing an increase in robotics investment across several key metrics, according to an analysis of GlobalData figures.
Robotics is gaining an increasing presence across multiple industries, with top companies around the world completing more robotics deals, hiring for more robotics roles and mentioning it more frequently in company reports at the start of 2021.
GlobalData's thematic approach to sector activity seeks to group key company information on hiring, deals, patents and more by topic to see which industries are best placed to weather the disruptions coming their way.
These themes, of which robotics is one, are best thought of as “any issue that keeps a CEO awake at night”, and by tracking them, it becomes possible to ascertain which companies are leading the way on specific issues and which are dragging their heels.
One area in which there has been a decrease in robotics investment among aerospace, defence and security companies is in the number of deals. GlobalData figures show that there were eight robotics deals in aerospace, defence and security in the second quarter of 2019. By the second quarter of 2021, that number was eight.
Hiring patterns within the aerospace, defence and security sector as a whole are pointing towards an increase in the level of attention being shown to roles related to robotics. There were 737 actively advertised open aerospace, defence and security roles within the industry in the second quarter of this year, up from 418 in the same quarter last year.
It is also apparent from an analysis of keyword mentions in financial filings that robotics is occupying the minds of aerospace, defence and security companies to a lesser extent.
There have been three mentions of robotics across the filings of the biggest aerospace, defence and security companies in Q2 2021. This figure represents a decrease compared to the same period in 2019 when industry filings mentioned robotics 39 times.
Robotics is decreasingly fuelling innovation in the aerospace, defence and security sector. There were, on average, 1,002 aerospace, defence and security patents related to robotics granted in the second quarter of 2019. That figure has fallen to 224 patents in the last quarter of 2020.