More than 10 percent of households in the United States will own a robot by 2020, latest market research conducted by Juniper Research suggests. The Hampshire, United Kingdom-based market research firm also predicts that global shipments of housekeeping robots will reach 48 million during the same period, which is a significant increase over 15.7 million expected to be recorded in 2017. The company believes that consumers will turn to automated assistants like robots as they will have less time to do chores around the house in the future, adding that urbanization is another important factor that will drive the consumer adoption rate of housekeeping robots.
Juniper Research pointed out how the robotics industry is already aware of the fact that robots will become mainstream in the near future, as evidenced by this year's Consumer Electronics Show where almost half of all showcased robotics solution were aimed at the average consumer instead of enterprise applications. While the firm believes many consumers will be interested in acquiring a housekeeping robot by 2020, it also notes that most users won't be impressed with social features of robots during the same period. Consumers are expected to be indifferent towards social robots until 2021 because most offerings will be too similar to the existing Internet of Things (IoT) devices hosting smart assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, Juniper Research claims. Pricing is another important factor that will inhibit social robots in the coming years as this type of products is still significantly more expensive than smart speakers are despite not having a more humanlike personality and significantly more features. Due to that state of affairs, the robotics industry is expected to invest more resources into developing advanced AIs in the coming years, the research concludes.
In addition to housekeeping robots, the UK market research firm predicts that the demand for healthcare robots will also increase in the coming years as populations in developed countries in North America and Asia continue to age. However, developing universal commercial solutions may prove to be a challenge seeing how Asian and Western cultures do not perceive robots identically, experts believe. Regardless of that, mainstream commercial applications of robots will likely evolve beyond automated vacuum cleaners by 2020.