Personal robots or domestic robots are the pre-assembled and pre-programmed robots used in personal and household applications. The robot-human interface in personal robots is designed in such fashion that even consumers with less robotic knowledge can operate these, effectively and conveniently. The major opportunities witnessed in the personal robots industry include growing demand for ‘care-bot’ and that for low-cost cleaning robots.
The global personal robots market is expected to witness a CAGR of 37.8% during the forecast period, to reach $34.1 billion by 2022. Based on type, cleaning robots have continued to be the largest market and are also expected to generate largest revenue during the forecast period. Geographically, the U.S. has been the largest market for personal robots.
The key trends witnessed in the global personal robots market are open software platform that can be used for personal robotics, emergence of personal robots with artificial intelligence, and new entries of smartphone companies in the global personal robots market.
The drive for open software platform is one of the major trends observed in the global personal robots market. Earlier, software building for personal robots was a major challenge for their manufacturers. However, an approach called core open software platform has come into existence recently, with no license requirement. This approach enables people to customize their low-level components, and is also helpful for engineering students and professors.
Increasing competition in the personal robots market has been encouraging personal robot manufacturers to invest in newer technologies. The emergence of personal robots with artificial intelligence is one such development observed in the industry. Hanson Robotics created a robot ‘Sophia’, which combines an AI chatbot with an expressive human like face. The robot can talk and help humans in healthcare, education and customer service. Jibo is another robotics company that created a friendly robot ‘Jibo’ using artificial intelligence. This robot can sense, respond and learn as the person engages with it.
The aging population in the developed countries has been driving the growth of the personal robots market. Due to the growing aging population in developed countries such as Japan, the demand for humanoid robots that are useful for elderly people is expected to increase. High disposable income and the need for convenience in the developed countries are boosting the demand of personal robots in the developed countries.
The declining price of personal robots is another major market driver, which is encouraging the budget-conscious customers to purchase them. The average price of personal robots has declined by around 27% between 2005 and 2014. Their price is likely to further decline by around 22% between 2015 and 2025. This is expected to boost the volume sales of personal robots, especially in the developed countries, where a personal robot is only afforded by the higher economic class.
The demand for mobile robots has been increasing due to security concerns. These robots are capable of locomotion and are not fixed to only one physical location. Such robots find their application in spying, and are also known as spying robots. These robots can detect thieves entering a house and make out a noise to make its owner aware of the robbery.
Sony Corporation’s pet robot ‘Aibo’ is a mobile robot, which is human-friendly, and easily acclimatizes with people in the house. Similarly, Honda Motors developed a technology ‘iWalk’ for its robot ‘Asimo’, which features a predictive movement control and enables ‘Asimo’ to predict the next movement in real-time, shifting its center of gravity according to that prediction. The bipedal walking robot is another type of walking robot, which is becoming popular. These robots have good walking speed and are adept in kicking and defending the soccer ball.
The overall intensity of rivalry is low in the global personal robots market. The high industry growth rate elevates the degree of rivalry in the market. The intensity of rivalry is also high because of low differentiation among the products. However, owing to the existence of less number of players in the market, the intensity of rivalry is low. Some of the key players in the global market include Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Sony Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., F&P Robotics AG, ZMP Inc., Segway Inc., Neato Robotics Inc., Ecovacs Robotics Inc., Hasbro Inc., and iRobot Corporation.
Product launches and strategic partnerships were the major types of recent developments in this market. Samsung, Segway, and F&P Robotics are some of the companies that recently introduced personal robot products. Sony, Samsung and ZMP are some of the major players to announce partnerships in this market.
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