There will be a new class of robot that uses a tablet or smartphone as its head launching in 2011 and 2012. iRobot which makes millions of vacuuming robots and military robots will be launching Ava which uses a tablets for its eyes and ears and for communication.
I think that this and other new types of robots (Heartland robotics affordable robotic arm, Lunabot an once piece Ava with simple arms) will cause the professional service robot category to rapidly expand and the overall population of robots to greatly increase above the projections of the 2010 International Federation of Robotics.
It is projected that sales of all types of domestic robots (vacuum cleaning, lawn-mowing, window cleaning and other types) in the period 2010-2013 could reach some 6.7 million units.
The market for entertainment and leisure robots, which includes toy robots, is forecast at about 4.6 million units, most of which, of course, are very low cost.
Turning to the projections for the period 2010-2013, the stock of service robots for professional use is forecast to increase to some 80,000 units. Application areas with strong growth are defence, rescue and security applications, field robots, logistic systems, inspection robots, medical robots and mobile robot platforms for multiple use.
By the end of 2020, there will be over ten million professional service and manufacturing robots.
By the end of 2025, there will be over one hundred million professional service and manufacturing robots.
The Korean government has already a stated goal of one robot in every Korean Kindergarten by 2013 and one robot in every home by 2020. There are currently 16 million South Korean households out of a population of nearly 49 million.