Personal Robots Market Will Grow To Over $5 Billion by 2015, Telepresence Next Big Thing

The global personal robots market will grow to more than $5 billion in 2015 -- and the next big thing is telepresence

1 min read

The global personal robots market will grow from US $1.16 billion in 2009 to $5.26 billion in 2015, according to a new study by NextGen, an arm of ABI Research.

Growth is good, but then there's some bad news: sales of such robots should decline through 2010 because of the global economic downturn.

Moving on to less gloomy news, the study says that the next phase in the evolution of the personal robots market -- currently dominated by entertainment toy robots and robotics kits and single-task robots like vaccuming and floor-washing bots -- will involve robots partially controlled by users at remote locations.

Yes, that's telepresence robots, which I sort of put down in a previous post. Guess you shouldn't turn to me for forecasts!

From their release:

In the next phase of the market's evolution, robots will be partially controlled by a user at a remote location. Telepresence robots will allow people to interact with family members at another location or to check on pets or second homes. Health personnel will monitor the elderly or infirm remotely, making sure they take their medication on time or guiding them through blood pressure or blood sugar measurements.
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By 2050, the global population aged 65 or more will be nearly double what it is today. The number of people over the age of 80 will triple, approaching half a billion. Supporting an aging population is a worldwide concern, but this demographic shift is especially pronounced in Japan, where more than a third of Japanese will be 65 or older by midcentury.

Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which was established by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2015 to explore autonomous cars, robotics, and “human amplification technologies,” has also been focusing a significant portion of its research on ways to help older people maintain their health, happiness, and independence as long as possible. While an important goal in itself, improving self-sufficiency for the elderly also reduces the amount of support they need from society more broadly. And without technological help, sustaining this population in an effective and dignified manner will grow increasingly difficult—first in Japan, but globally soon after.

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