The global personal robots market will grow from US$1.16 billion in 2009 to more than $5 billion in 2015, says a report by NexGenResearch.
The report, Personal Robotics 2009: Task, Security & Surveillance/Telepresence, Entertainment and Education Robot, and Robotic Components Markets Through 2015, says that the majority of robots in 2009 are entertainment robots -- toys -- and single-task robots, such as vacuum cleaners or floor washers. It's also being affected by the current recession.
Marc Liggio, the study's author, says "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, says the report, 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. "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," Liggio says.
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