Research and innovation in robotics in the air force equipment and technologies 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 41 in the three months ending January – down from 56 over the same period in 2021.
Figures for patent grants related to robotics followed a different pattern to filings – growing from 43 in the three months ending January 2021 to 54 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.
The Boeing Co was the top robotics innovator in the airforce equipment and technologies sector in the last quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 51 robotics related patents in the three months ending January. That was down from 60 over the same period in 2021.
It was followed by the United States based Northrop Grumman Corp with 12 robotics patent applications, France based Thales SA (12 applications), and the Netherlands based Airbus SE (12 applications).
Thales SA has recently ramped up R&D in robotics. It saw growth of 75% in related patent applications in the three months ending January compared to the same period in 2021 – the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the airforce equipment and technologies sector.