5 Best Robotics ETFs for 2022

Updated: 14th Jan 2022 Written by Sean Graytok
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Looking for the best robotics ETFs on the market? Here are five funds that you should know.

Best Robotics ETFs

Advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics technology are making an automated world inevitable.

The deflationary impact of these innovations will affect every sector of the economy by replacing or augmenting jobs that machines can complete.

The funds mentioned in this article capture the economic benefits of robotic technologies and their applications. Without further ado, here are the five best robotics ETFs.

#1. Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF (BOTZ)

The Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF (BOTZ) seeks to invest in companies that stand to benefit from the increased adoption of robotics and AI.

  • Performance over 1-Year: +8%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.68%
  • AUM: $2.7 billion
  • Number of Holdings: 37

BOTZ is one of Global X’s most popular thematic growth ETF. The fund was created in 2016 and has attracted over $2.7 billion in AUM.

Global X’s unconstrained approach enables it to invest in high growth potential stocks across multiple sectors and industries.

BOTZ provides robotics exposure beyond industrial machinery and invests in areas like semiconductors, medical specialties, and packaged software.

BOTZ Top Holdings:

  • Nvidia (NVDA) 12.1%
  • Keyence Corp. (6861:TKS) 9.2%
  • Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) 9.0%
  • ABB Ltd. (ABBN) 8.3%
  • Fanuc Corp. (6954:TKS) 6.5%

#2. ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (ROBO)

The ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF provides global exposure to robotics, artificial intelligence, and healthcare technologies across large-, mid-, and small-cap companies.

  • Performance over 1-Year: +16%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.95%
  • AUM: $1.9 billion
  • Number of Holdings: 84

ROBO has a modified equal-weighted structure of holdings based on a company’s “ROBO Score,” which is calculated using a company’s level of revenues, market and technology leadership, and investments in the field of robotics and automation.

ROBO invests 59% of its assets into “Applications”, which consists of Manufacturing & Industrial (16%), Healthcare (13%), Logistics Automation (13%), Food & Agriculture (5%), Business Process Automation (5%), 3D Printing (4%), and Autonomous Systems (2%).

The other 41% of the fund is invested in “Technologies,” spread across areas like Computing & AI (14%), Actuation (13%), Sensing (9%), and Integration (6%).

In our estimation, ROBO provides the most diversified exposure to the robotics theme. It has balanced coverage across all relevant industries, company sizes, and geographical regions.

ROBO Top Holdings:

  • Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) 1.9%
  • Airtac international (1590:TAI) 1.7%
  • Harmonic Drive Systems (6324:JAS) 1.7%
  • iRhythm Technologies (IRTC) 1.7%
  • Kardex Holding (KARN) 1.7%

#3. iShares Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Multi Sector ETF (IRBO)

The iShares Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Multisector ETF is an equal-weighted fund that is composed of global companies across the robotics and AI value chain.

  • Performance over 1-Year: +7%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.47%
  • AUM: $433 million
  • Number of Holdings: 122

IRBO was launched several years after the previous two ETFs, hence its much smaller AUM.

IRBO’s holdings are equal-weighted across five industries: Information Technology (62%), Communication (19%), Industrials (11%), Consumer Discretionary (6%), and Health Care (2%).

IRBO is biased towards white-collar robotics and automation companies, with perhaps a stronger focus on software than hardware applications.

For example, IRBO invests in various cloud-focused companies such as Snowflake (SNOW) and Splunk (SPLK), which automate data processing and analysis.

IRBO Top Holdings:

  • GoDaddy (GDDY) 1.1%
  • Vivendi (VIV) 1.1%
  • Meta Platforms (FB) 1.05
  • ATA (ATA) 1.0%
  • Faraday Technology Corp. (3035:TAI) 1.0%

>> More: Best ETFs to Buy Right Now

#4. First Trust Nasdaq Artificial Intelligence & Robotics ETF (ROBT)

The First Trust Nasdaq Artificial Intelligence & Robotics ETF tracks the performance of companies engaged in the artificial intelligence and robotics segments of the technology, industrial, and other sectors.

  • Performance over 1-Year: +11%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.65%
  • AUM: $300 million
  • Number of Holdings: 109

Like IRBO, this ETF has more exposure to Information Technology type companies and less of a focus on Industrials.

IRBO holdings are classified as AI or robotics engagers, enablers, or enhancers, as defined by the fund’s methodology.

Engagers design, create, integrate, and deliver robotics and/or AI in the form of products, software, or systems. IRBO allocates 60% of the fund to engagers.

Enablers develop the core tech of the robotics industry, such as creating advanced machinery, autonomous systems, semiconductors, and databases used for machine learning. One-quarter of the fund goes to enablers.

Enhancers provide an AI-enabled service within the AI and robotics space, but it is not their core offering. The remaining 15% of IRBO is invested in enhancers.

ROBT Top Holdings:

  • Ciena Corp. (CIEN) 2.5%
  • Elbit Systems (ESLT) 2.3%
  • Ambarella (AMBA) 2.2%
  • PKSHA Technology (3993:TKS) 2.2%
  • Hexagon AB (HEXA.B) 2.2%

#5. ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF (ARKQ)

The ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF (ARKQ) predominantly invests in the following areas: energy, automation and manufacturing, materials, artificial intelligence, and transportation.

  • Performance over 1-Year: +2%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.75%
  • AUM: $2.2 billion
  • Number of Holdings: 39

Companies within ARKQ may develop, produce, or enable Autonomous Transportation, Robotics and Automation, 3D Printing, Energy Storage, and Space Exploration.

The majority of assets in ARKQ are invested in companies creating autonomous capabilities, such as Tesla, Trimble, and various satellite operations.

ARKQ is also heavily invested in space-related companies, given the importance of satellites and geospatial imaging for autonomous systems on Earth’s surface.

This component results in ARKQ investing in various aerospace and defense companies with a presence in space.

Additionally, ARKQ allocates to several companies that are developing software automation tools, such as UiPath (PATH), Unity Technologies (U), and 3D printing operations.

ARKQ Top Holdings:

  • Tesla (TSLA) 10.6%
  • Trimble (TRMB) 7.5%
  • UiPath (PATH) 6.8%
  • Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS) 6.7%
  • Iridium Communications (IRDM) 4.9%

>> More: Join The Motley Fool Stock Advisor & see their top 10 stocks to buy right now.

Alternatives to Robotics ETFs

Thematic exposure to robotics and automation will likely pay off in the long term, but it’s not for everyone.

Several other industries are poised for staggering growth in the coming years and decades.

In our estimation, the following thematic ETFs are worth considering:

These industries have varying growth trajectories and timelines to profitability, but each of them is at the apex of innovation.

Robotics ETFs Frequently Asked Questions

Does Vanguard have a robotics ETF?

Vanguard does not offer a pure-play robotics ETF, but it does offer various funds related to the technology sector of the economy. For example, the Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund (VGT) invests in many of the companies that are in traditional robotics ETFs, such as Nvidia (NVDA), Qualcomm (QCOM), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and Intel (INTC).

Which AI ETF is best?

The Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF (BOTZ) is one of the best AI ETFs to consider. Another option is Cathie Wood’s ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF (ARKQ). Finally, the Invesco QQQ Trust ETF (QQQ) provides broad exposure to the most capable technology companies on the market.

Bottom Line: Best Robotics ETFs

There you have it – the best robotics ETFs for 2022 and beyond. Invest or don’t invest accordingly.

Keep Reading:

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Check out our editorial integrity and ETF research methodology to learn more about how we chose the best robotic ETFs for investors. 

Sean Graytok
Sean Graytok

Sean Graytok is our Co-Founder and is a recognized expert in investing, cryptocurrency, and financial management. His work has been cited in leading industry publications, such as InvestorsPlace and Business Insider. Sean is interested in the people and companies who are driving financial innovation.