Robots may still seem kind of like a niche industry, but the reality is much different. Over the years, companies — especially manufacturers — have invested substantial sums on robotics.
In fact, back in , Amazon. No doubt, the industry represents a nice growth opportunity. But there are also powerful trends that are driving the growth. Just some include high-speed chips, sensor technologies, cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence AI.
So how big is the opportunity? Indeed, there is quite a bit of room for many players to reap hefty profits. What are some of the companies to consider now? CGNX is not a startup. Keep in mind that the company has been around for 36 years. But CGNX is certainly growing as if it were a much younger company.
Then again, Cognex is the top player in a critical part of the robotics market: The technology allows for the automation of the manufacturing and tracking of discrete items like mobile phones, aspirin bottles and automobile tires.
Note that the company holds patents. A key is that the applications for machine vision are so extensive. Factory automation customers also purchase Cognex products for use outside of the assembly process, such as using ID products in logistics automation for package sorting and distribution.
Robots have been quite adept for the seas as well. But it is important to note that the market has been challenging because of the wrenching volatility of crude prices over the past few years. This has been particularly hard on deepwater projects, which represents the main sweet spot for Oceaneering. As a result, the company has been aggressive with cost cutting. There is even a decent dividend yield of 2. But with Oceaneering, the play is really for the long-term.
After all, deepwater projects will remain a critical part of replenishing oil reserves across the world. And besides, when the markets perk up, OII will be positioned nicely to benefit. Until the summer of , Teradyne, Inc. TER was mostly a supplier of automation systems for testing semiconductors, wireless devices and storage systems.
UR had built a leading position in the category for collaborative robots or cobots. These are low-cost robots that are used in conjunction with production workers — helping with packing, assembly, gluing and polishing. For the most part, the acquisition turned out to be stellar.
It certainly helped that there was lots of synergy with the traditional business of TER. But of course, the market for cobots would continue to grow at a torrid pace. We are regularly surprised by the new uses customers have for their cobots. The roots of Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Then in the mids, Dr. Frederic Moll understood that the commercial potential was enormous — yet he had trouble getting much buy-in. But like any great entrepreneur, he did not give up. Eventually he was able to raise the necessary capital to buy the technology from SRI.
At the heart of the company is the da Vinci Surgical System, which allows doctors to perform surgeries, such as for prostatectomies and gynecologic procedures, by using a remote console. Essentially, the system mimics hand movements. But there are also recurring fees for maintenance as well as wrists joints and staplers. Overall, the business model has been quite lucrative. But going forward, the growth rate is likely to perk up.
A key reason is that ISRG is planning on introducing lower cost systems, which should help to expand the market opportunity. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https: Hot stocks to watch this morning: Breaking news sponsored by.More...