While many consumers’ current interaction with robots is limited to those that clean their floors, pools, or gutters, ABI Research, in its market study “Personal Robotics,” forecasts that the personal robotics market will grow to more than $19 billion in 2017, driven in large part by sales of telepresence and security robots featuring high-quality cameras, microphones, and processors that allow the robots to serve as interactive substitutes for human beings.
The modern robotics market has existed for nearly 30 years, but within the last decade, substantial improvements in overall functionality, levels of control, and cost structures have been achieved. While many of the advancements in robotics have been achieved in military and industrial markets where higher amounts of spending have allowed the development and commercialization of highly technical, yet costly, robots, many of the lessons learned are quickly trickling down to other market segments, including healthcare, business and commercial markets, and personal robotic devices.
Larry Fisher, research director of NextGen, ABI Research’s emerging technologies research incubator, notes that, “Robotics vendors are beginning to introduce telepresence robots which allow the user to have a virtual presence in another location, saving business users travel time and expenses. For consumers, telepresence robots can help shut-ins join family events, or allow families to monitor and interact with the elderly or infirm in a way that a quick telephone call can’t match.”
To date, Fisher notes, the most successful market segments in personal robotics have been the vacuum cleaner market and the entertainment market. “While a truly ‘killer app’ has yet to emerge in personal robots, security/telepresence and healthcare-related applications are likely to gain significant traction by the end of the forecast period.”
“Personal Robotics” explains how communication and mobility technologies enable the functions of personal robots. It presents forecasts for both shipments and revenues for each category of personal robot and for their major components. The study also analyzes the vendor landscape.