Brand Manager at Robomow on service robots: It is not enough to just offer a robot that works
International Federation of Robotics predicts a high demand for service robots in 2018-2020. According to experts, the volume of service robotics market will increase by 15% annually. Organizers of Robotics Expo talked to Maxim Baskakov, the Brand Manager at Robomow, on reasons for the rapid development of the industry and its prospects in Russia.
Why do you think the interest in robotics has so sharply increased in the world?
Robots are not just toys, they are convenient and useful assistants in everyday life. Many people can’t imagine their lives without robotic vacuum cleaners, for example. In the future, this list will include other robotic devices.
If we talk about Russian segment of service robots, when has it started actively developing? What future does it have?
Robotics is widespread in the industrial field: only machines operate in many factories nowadays. In addition, robotics actively come to the human life. According to Credit Suisse study, global sales of household robots exceed a mark of 3 million units and grow by 20-30% per year.
The above-mentioned robotic vacuum cleaners have long been in demand. In Russia, tens of thousands of such gadgets have been sold. These devices measure size of the room, "see" obstacles in it and, if necessary, return to recharg.
Giants of household appliances, such as iClebo, iRobot, LG, Samsung, Kärcher and others produce such devices. In Russia, the price of a robot is about 9 thousand rubles, which is affordable for the average buyer.
In addition to robotic vacuum cleaners, robotic lawn-mower, robot for pool cleaning, robot for cleaning windows are popular as well.
What is the most important when creating a service robot for the mass market?
Cost effectiveness and quality. It is not enough to offer a robot that just works. It must agree with the price that people are ready to pay.
There are many robots doing fantastic things, but having absolutely no commercial prospects because of the high cost.
Quality and reliability are important as well: the robot must work day and night without a failure. This is a real challenge for design engineers and manufacturers.
What are the main methods of promoting the new model?
Marketing, of course. It is important to explain to people how robots can make their life easier.
How fast, do you think, can robots replace a person in the household?
We see robots in our homes more often: they solve tasks such as cleaning the floors, cleaning pools, cutting lawns, etc. I believe that this trend will spread even more intensively in the future.
You work for Robomow, a company that specializes in household robots manufacture, in particular lawn-mower robots. What are the prospects for the development of this smart technology for home and garden?
They're huge. The international market of robotic floor cleaners (mostly vacuum cleaners) is estimated at billions of dollars. I am convinced that the market of robotic mowers will be at the same level in several years. If there will be 2-3 robots in each household (this is the forecast for the next 5 years), we will get a market estimated at tens of billions of dollars.
Will robotic mowers replace human not only in everyday life, but also in agriculture?
Robots in industry and agrarian spheres have completely different tasks, and the criteria of success for such machines are completely different. Several companies are working in this direction, so agricultural robots will gradually appear.
Does Robomow plan to develop any other products in the field of household robotics?
No, niche specialization is the main Robomow difference. We put all our efforts into the development of home robotic lawn-mowers, without distracting ourselves with other products.
There is much talk about robotics expansion abroad. Do you think the same is possible in Russia?
It’s just the beginning of robotics era in Russia. Unfortunately, Russian market is 5-6 years behind the leaders. If we talk about garden robots, there is also a certain seasonality: spring comes later than in Western Europe or America. This affects sales and updating of models. In all other respects, there is no fundamental difference.