It looks as if consumer robots may be a lot closer to realization than we think. Kuka, a German company leading the industrial robotics sector is currently working on brand new models. Although the company is mainly known for robot arms and industrial robots, they are now working on consumer-grade robots as well. That is a rather remarkable turn of events and one that has many people concerned at the same time.
Consumer Robots may Come to Market Very Soon
Up until this point, very little attention has been paid to the concept of consumer robots. After all, it does not yet make complete sense to focus on this particular industry. Consumers are only getting used to smart devices right now, let alone show an interest in having full-blown robots walk around in their homes. Then again, German-based industrial robot market leader Kuka feels there is a demand for such products right now.
More specifically, company CEO Till Reuter explained why Kuka is suddenly focusing on consumer robots. It is quite a pivot to go from industrial types to a robot that can safely walk around one’s own home. It appears the driving force behind this business decision is the German company’s parent company Midea. Midea is a Chinese manufacturer of home appliances, and they are quite keen to explore the concept of consumer robots.
It only makes sense to explore this new market sooner or later. Given the fact there is not much competition in this particular space just yet, entering research and development ahead of competitors could be a smart business decision in the end. Sooner or later, we will see consumer robots, and they may become rather common in quick succession. Now is a good time as any for manufacturers explore the possibilities.
For the time being, there is no real course of action. It is unclear what kind of products we can expect moving forward. The concept of consumer robots is very broad, and anything is possible at this point. Kuka has built up a solid reputation by developed heavy-duty physical tasks, which means it is possible they will start developing something along those lines. It seems unlikely the company will build a “hub” type of robot, that much is evident.
One potential area worth exploring is how consumer robots can help the elderly and disabled to make their lives a bit easier. With the vast experience of building heavy-duty robotic solutions, it makes sense we might see a product being developed along those lines. A few companies in Japan are thinking along these same lines as we speak. Elderly populations are growing all over the world, and caretaking solutions need to be found. Robotics may very well be the best course of action in this regard.
It is evident the lines between humans and robots will continue to blur as more time progresses. Making both “species” work together in our secret will be quite challenging for any manufacturer or software developer. Some great innovations await us, that much is certain. It will be very interesting to see what Kuka and other companies come up with in the world of consumer robots.
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