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May 31, 2022updated 01 Jun 2022 4:46pm

Robotics innovation among automotive industry companies has dropped off in the last year

Analysis of patent filings shows a shrinking level of robotics related applications in the industry over the past year

By Data Journalism Team

Research and innovation in robotics in the automotive manufacturing and supply sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of robotics related patent applications in the industry stood at 168 in the three months ending March – down from 191 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to robotics followed a different pattern to filings – growing from 97 in the three months ending March 2021 to 136 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

Robotics is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Toyota Motor Corp was the top robotics innovator in the automotive manufacturing and supply sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in Japan, filed 39 robotics related patents in the three months ending March. That was up from 22 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the South Korea based Kia Corp with 27 robotics patent applications, Ireland based Aptiv Plc. (24 applications), and Japan based Denso Corp (11 applications).

Aptiv Plc. Has recently ramped up R&D in robotics. It saw growth of 54.2% in related patent applications in the three months ending March compared to the same period in 2021 - the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the automotive manufacturing and supply sector.

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