According to the robotics bible "Handbook of Robotics" published in 2008 the market size for full-size household vacuum cleaners in the US was estimated to be close to 20 million units in 2003. The ratio between domestic cleaning robots sold worldwide from 2002 to 2006 and regular vacuum cleaners sold only in the U.S. during the same time was 1:40. Conservatively estimated, this ratio may be around 1:400 or worse worldwide. Given these figures domestic cleaning robots still seem to be considered to be gadgets rather than appliances." (Handbook of Robotics 2008, page 1279).
|Shenzhen Silver Star Intelligent Electronic Ltd|
|Image: GRB/Infonaut Cleaning Robots 2010. (Click image to enlarge)|
But there are many competitors around the corner. New features such as anti-cliff sensors, side brushes, UV light, built in fragrant compartment for deodorizing, washable filters, scheduling etc. have been introduced in the last 10 years. New navigation technologies have been recently implemented by companies like Neato Robotics, Evolution Robotics, Samsung and LG. New entrants like Taiwanese electronic giants ASUS and MSI have identified home robotics as a post-netbook growth market. Chinese manufacturers offer already 50+ different models. The image above shows a selection of cleaning robots from only one of these companies, which can supply 50,000 sets per month each.
|Philips FC9910/01 HomeRun|