The appeal of smart home technology is in releasing residents from time-consuming and repetitive tasks in much the same way that the Television (TV) remote did away with physically channel on a TV set. Yet, even as smart home adoption enables residents from having to physically engage with light switches, door locks, thermostats and more, many additional mundane repetitive tasks remain throughout the home that fall outside of the current smart home control. The integration of robot capabilities within the smart home offers the promise of robot management of repetitive actions that rely on physicality and mobility.
Home robots have made some headway into low-level homecare applications such as vacuum cleaning and lawn mowing, and leading robot examples are increasingly coming under smart home management through the driving acceptance and popularity of smart home voice control and management platforms such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant/Home.
While home care task robots push into smart home management, robots geared to delivering personal and social interaction and care have so far struggled. A host of start-ups in the space, including Jibo, Mayfield, Anki and others have folded as the demands placed on delivering attractive, useful and affordable robots has proved challenging. However, the potential for the voice-control front end devices that have driven smart home adoption particularly by Amazon and Google, to extend into some robotic capabilities could be on the horizon. Such a move could potentially tie together smart home and home robots in closer partnership to extend the value and scope of both systems.
This report examines the current and future status of robotics adoption within smart home systems and provides analysis and forecasts for the development of smart home robotics over the next five years.