OYSTER BAY, N.Y.-The market for consumer robots will total $6.5 billion by 2017, according to a study conducted by ABI Research.
If the market reaches this figure, it will represent a sales increase of 442 percent over 2012, when the market was $1.2 billion, according to the research firm. This market will also be dominated by the task and entertainment segments, as it is now. While iRobot is the main player in the U.S. market, ABI said more Asia-based companies have been introducing competing products with new applications, such as window cleaning.
“We are seeing more personal robot R&D from Western companies and more task-robot development from Asian companies, which is a reversal of past development trends,” said Philip Solis, ABI research director.
ABI also said the stagnant global economy has been limiting growth in consumer robots. In addition, safety concerns are holding growth back, such as a robot catching onto a power cord and causing a fire. These problems, Solis said, are “solvable, but with additional cost.”