Understanding the Robot Ecosystem: Don't lose sight of either the trees or the forest

AbstractThe robot sector in many countries has thrived recently thanks to government supports and innovations in various industries. This study, using the patent database to define the robot sector, reconfigures IO (Input-Output) data to analyze the relationships among various sectors. In particular, we consider the internal description of the robot sector (mesoscopic view—the trees) as well as the relationship between the robot and the non-robot sectors (macroscopic view—the forest), so that we can not only understand robot ecosystems in various dimensions but also develop policy insights. For the sake of systematic analysis of the intra- and inter-sector relations as well as the meso-macro links, this study constructs network models and employs several network measures. Our model and analysis present a good case study to understand the nature of the robot sector in terms of the business ecosystem. This novel approach also contributes to finding out a promising path that leverages the strengths of intra-sector relations and spreads the impact of the robot sector across the macro relations.

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