32. Robotics


Robotics is used in multiple fields (industrial, agricultural, domestic, scientific, educational, medical, military, leisure, service, transport robotics, etc.). It is a science of technological integration at the crossroads of mechanics, electronics, computer science and networks, in particular communication. The desire to relocate production to Western countries and the ageing of the population are drivers of the revival of robotics, especially since the key technologies of robotics are experiencing spectacular advances: the rise of artificial intelligence, the sophistication of sensors, improved battery efficiency, IoT, 5G, etc.


  • The global Industrial Robots Market was valued at USD 45.1 Billion in 2021 and is all set to surpass USD 89.4 Billion by 2028. China has been the leading country in the industrial robot market for several years, with a revenue of more than 12 billion USD, accounting for 38% of the market share globally.
  • Fanuc, ABB, KUKA, and Yashakawa are the four major suppliers in the market, accounting for around 56% of the global market share.
  • On the proposal of the Chinese national committee, which will act as its secretariat, the IEC has created a new technical committee on robotic systems for the electrical industry, including distribution networks.

Challenges and opportunities for DSOs

  • Industrial robots are able to operate in high-risk environments (live work), support heavy loads, perform arduous tasks and be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Driven by an operator or autonomous and capable of adapting to their environment, they should enable DSOs to improve health, safety and productivity.
  • Up to date, robots are generally used in controlled and restricted areas. DSO operation fields are various and usually not completely controlled. Under thesecircumstances adaptation and security are major challenges.

EDSO Considerations

  • DSOs must identify tasks that can be robotised in their businesses in order to test available solutions, develop new ones and assess the associated gains and performance.
  • The main usages for distribution networks are potentially related to maintenance and inspection.

Last update: 28 September 2023