January 2, 2008 A new study by ABI Research predicts that the personal robotics market will be worth $15 billion by 2015. The report examines the consumer market for toy robots like Sony's Aibo and the recently released iSobot, as well as increasingly sophisticated single-function “task” robots such as the Roomba vacuum cleaner and Looj gutter cleaning robot from iRobot.

The ABI “Personal Robotics” study also looks at developments in commercial robotics and software development platforms that will play an important role in the future of the market as operating systems become standardized and advances in commercial robotics flow through to consumer products.

ABI says that the forecast growth in the personal robotics market will see major advances at affordable consumer prices and provide revenue opportunities for a wide variety companies, from small robotics-focused software companies and microcontroller vendors to larger semiconductor vendors and giants like Intel, Microsoft and the major automotive manufacturers.

Commenting on the industry's future, ABI Research principal analyst Philip Solis says: "Some people may spend as much on a multi-task humanoid robot as they do on a car, buying fewer, but more expensive, robots. This scenario will occur well in the future, but as we reach 2015, we can expect to see an increasing use of complex manipulators."