The Market for Personal Robots Will Reach $5.26 Billion by 2015, According to NextGen Research
The prevailing wisdom is that the personal robotics market resembles the personal computer market of the mid-1970s; many small companies with greater expertise in R&D than in marketing are trying to create a product for which others will develop applications. Proprietary specifications are giving way to standardized solutions, especially on the high end where the robot will have a full computer on board (or off-board, connected via Wi-Fi or 3G to a PC or the network cloud).
According to the study “Personal Robotics 2009: Task, Security & Surveillance/Telepresence, Entertainment and Education Robot, and Robotic Components Markets Through 2015”, the global personal robots market will grow from $1.28 billion in 2009 to more than $5 billion in 2015. The majority of such robots in 2009 are entertainment robots — toys — and single-task robots, such as vacuum cleaners or floor washers.
“The market is being affected by the global economic downturn,” says Marc Liggio, the study’s author. “These are good products, but not yet must-haves. Task robots cost several hundred dollars, and are not a full replacement for a regular vacuum cleaner or mop. The downturn will slow sales growth and marketing expenditures through 2010.”
The new study finds that entertainment robots in particular are being affected by the recession; people are buying lower-cost products, and manufacturers are seeking lower price points. The task robot segment will grow as customers in current markets move to more expensive (and more effective) devices, but then will decline as expansion into less-wealthy markets increases sales of lower-cost robots, according to the study.
In the next phase of the market’s evolution, robots will be partially controlled by a user at a remote location. Telepresence robots will allow people to interact with family members at another location or to check on pets or second homes. Health personnel will monitor the elderly or infirm remotely, making sure they take their medication on time or guiding them through blood pressure or blood sugar measurements. Says Mr. Liggio, “There is still research to be done on the development of robots using grippers or hands to manipulate the environment. We won’t see C3P0 anytime soon.”
NextGen Research is the emerging technology arm of ABI Research. NextGen Research informs clients of the outlook for applications currently in use and the opportunities presented by new technologies, so they can make sound business decisions. For more information, please visit www.nextgenresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2526.