The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing demand for autonomous robots in industries such as logistics, manufacturing, and healthcare, where precise navigation and mapping capabilities are crucial, and growing importance of technologies such as LIDAR and depth cameras, coupled with sophisticated algorithms, propelling the growth of SLAM path planning in robotics. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Robotics in technology: SLAM path planning. Buy the report here.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
190+ innovations will shape the technology industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, nanorobotics, autonomous harvesters, and line follower robots are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Surgical robots, SLAM path planning, and force feedback robots are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing.
Innovation S-curve for robotics in the technology industry
SLAM path planning is a key innovation area in robotics
Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) path planning is the concurrent generation of an environment map and the determination of the device's position within it. It involves the utilization of a range of sensors such as cameras and depth sensors to collect data and make instantaneous decisions for navigation and exploration.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 920+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of SLAM path planning.
Key players in SLAM path planning – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to SLAM path planning
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Among the companies innovating in SLAM path planning, Sony Group is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patent pertains to an image processing system and method that enables the creation of a high-quality texture image from a specific viewpoint using an omnidirectional image. A drawing component produces a visual representation from a designated viewpoint utilizing a first layer image composed of a texture image and depth information from the omnidirectional image, along with a second layer image consisting of a texture image and depth data in regions where occlusion occurs in the first layer image's viewpoint. The technology finds application in scenarios such as a home server generating a display image from an omnidirectional image for a specified viewpoint. Other prominent patent filers in the space include Intel and Qualcomm.
In terms of application diversity, Nuro held the top position, while Walmart and Panasonic stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographical reach, Nuro leads the pack, followed by Deere and Walmart.
SLAM path planning is a pivotal technology in robotics as it enables machines to autonomously navigate and map complex environments in real time. This capability is crucial for a wide range of applications including autonomous vehicles, drones, and robots used in industries such as logistics, manufacturing, and healthcare.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics.