The iRobot Roomba cleaning robots is still the most famous, and probably widespread robot in the world. Despite this has made many people happy not to clean their floors (e.g., me), Roomba is not exactly the robot many of us would have expected to keep the best selling position in the robotic industry for so many years. Who is next?
An article on Information Week proposes that the next big hit in robotics will come from Telepresence. With a shower of remote telepresence robots hitting the market over the past few years and more to come (MantaroBot, Vgo, Anybots, Suitable Technology, Double Robotics, Revolve), and with price points below $10K (and sometimes below $2K!), the positive repercussion of telepresence on productivity, or simply the ability to chat hands-free with your friends and family, would become apparent.
Telepresence is surely one of the next big sectors in robotics to be booming in the next few years: new, inexpensive gadgets will become cheaper and more powerful. And more useful.