Consumer robots have been a mainstay of popular culture for more than 50 years, fueling the notion that, eventually, robots would be an important part of our daily lives. While the vision of robotic companions and servants has remained largely unfulfilled, the industry is now in a period of renewed interest in consumer robotics, as the market evolves beyond the traditional realm of household cleaning robots and into an era that will be filled with increasingly capable toy and educational robots, robotic personal assistants, and family companions.
According to a new report from Tractica, annual shipments of consumer robots will increase from 6.6 million units in 2015 to 31.2 million units worldwide by 2020, with a cumulative total of 96.7 million consumer robots shipped during that period. The market intelligence firm anticipates that household robots will remain the largest segment of the market over the next several years, but the fastest growth will occur in robotic personal assistants, a category that is nascent today.
“The next phase of the consumer robotics revolution is well and truly underway,” says research director Aditya Kaul. “The next 5 years will set the stage for how these robots could fundamentally transform our homes and daily lives.”
Tractica’s research finds that consumer robotic companies are charting a new course using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to make their robots smarter, with the possibility of extending their capabilities and integrating with other smart home devices in the future. Meanwhile, machine vision, voice recognition, tactile sensors, and gesture recognition are all being incorporated into consumer robots, as well, as the consumer market benefits from technology innovations originally created for enterprise and industrial markets.
Tractica’s report, “Consumer Robotics”, covers the market for consumer robotics, which includes household robots like vacuum cleaning robots, pool cleaning robots, robot lawn mowers, and personal assistant robots, as well as toy and educational robots. The report includes coverage of the market drivers and barriers, the technology issues, profiles of the key companies in the space, and market forecasts for consumer robotics during the period from 2015 through 2020. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.