The International market for personal and mobile robots is about $5 billion and could grow to $5.4 billion this year. It is growing by around 7% a year. Biggest growth over the next three years will be in domestic rather than industrial robots. Robot milking systems would rise to around 1,550 by 2005, while the number of robots used in surgery would reach almost 8,000. Some 2,000 bomb-disposal and other security robots would likely be installed in the next three years
The main challenge robot designers and manufacturers are facing is making robots that are useful, not just technically feasible. However, there has been an increase in robot activity because parts have become cheaper. These parts include processors, sensors, and navigation software. Also, computing power is greater and this makes robots capable of more enhanced programming.
Japan’s Humanoid Robotics Project (HRP), a five-year, $50 million plan launched by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry plans to develop a general-purpose humanoid robot. We will see how much this helps the acceptability, cost, and adoption rate of robots in general.