February 9, 2021

iRobotRoombaS9400x275With more consumers staying at home due to COVID-19 related lockdowns in 2020, they looked to consumer robotics to help make life simpler, a new report suggests. Global tech market advisory firm ABI Research found that the consumer robotics market generated $10.4 billion in revenues in 2020, up $448 million, or 4.3%, on pre-pandemic expectations.

Even with a negative impact on production and shipments at the beginning of the pandemic, robot homecare vendors, including iRobot and Ecovacs, saw strong third and fourth quarters, the firm said. The pandemic saw a shift in consumer focus and spending from outside to inside the home, supporting a growing emphasis on in-home spending. Additional focus on cleaning and health inside the home, as well as social isolation for many people, similarly brought greater interest, appeal and spending in many segments of consumer robotics.

“In 2020, two key trends converged to drive homecare robotics adoption,” said Jonathan Collins, smart home research director at ABI Research. “First, consumers were more interested in robotic cleaners, but their interest came as vendor offerings solved many issues with limited consumer appeal. Second, product lines expanded to bring capabilities at lower price points, with improved operational efficiency and cleaning abilities.” Features such as on-board cameras, HEPA filters and UV sterilization lamps furthered the appeal of these products.

The research firm said the greatest impact of 2020 on consumer robotics will likely be the greater awareness and acceptance of a valuable role for personal/social robots. With isolation and restrictions placed on many demographics worldwide, including the elderly and children, social robot interest will likely rise. “We saw social robot players from Softbank to SARA Robotics push trials and new engagements that helped boost the market’s potential significantly during 2020,” said Collins. “We will see the impact of that throughout the years ahead.”

The company’s findings are from its Consumer Robotics market data report, part of the Smart Home research service. The data includes market share analysis and highly segmented, service-specific forecasts to provide detailed insight for customers. Head to the ABI Research website for more details.

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