What’s Going On With Smart Home Robots?

This is the second of a four part series looking into innovation in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) space. Our first post provided an introduction to the Artificial Intelligence startup landscape.

In last week’s article, we showed you how our technology and analysts can quickly develop a broad market landscape in very little time. This week, we’re going to look at an example of how our service can provide a deep dive into a category of interest. This can help corporations find the best startups to work with once they understand the strategic landscape.

The category we’re going to look at today is Smart Home Robots, which comprises of 35 companies with $196M of funding. This category includes automatic mechanical devices with a level of artificial intelligence that are built for the consumer household.

Smart Home Robot Key Trends

A recent Business Insider article shows the large growth potential for the home robots sector, with the market projected to be worth $1.5B in 2019 (up from $673M in 2014). This implies a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.39%, which is projected to be 7 times faster than industrial robots.

Despite this rapid growth, we find that the sector is still very much in its developmental stage. Most of the home robots are wheel-based and single-purpose, with the general-purpose humanoid robots still in the research phase.

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Interesting Smart Home Robot Startups

We have selected Aldebaran Robotics and Jibo as some Smart Home Robots companies to highlight due to their significant funding, experienced founding team, differentiated technology, and our unique analyst opinions.

Aldebaran Robotics produces humanoid robots with mechanical, electronic, and cognitive features for home and entertainment purposes. Use cases for these robots include teaching math to your children and waking you up in the morning. The company has acquired a total funding of $20.3M from notable investors such as Intel Capital and Innovation Capital. Aldebaran currently produces a variety of different robot types:

  • Pepper: a 4-ft humanoid home robot on three wheels with a tablet-screen on its chest and an “emotional engine”.
  • Nao: a 1.9-ft humanoid robot mainly being used for research and education purposes.
  • Romeo: a 4.6-ft humanoid robot with arms and legs.


The other company, Jibo, produces a small personal assistant home robot with features including:

  • Facial recognition to give personalized reminders (the robot recognizes who you are, and reminds you about your specific schedule),
  • Face-tracking telepresence,
  • Ability to learn preferences, and
  • Storytelling capabilities.

One of Jibo’s key differentiators is their ability to recognize and express emotive cues such as winks, smile, and laughter to enable more personalized interactions. Jibo attracted high consumer interest with its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign raising $2.2M, far surpassing its original goal of $100,000. The project enjoys a credible development team, the MIT Personal Robots Group, and its consumer version is estimated to become available in 2015.

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Stay tuned for next week, when we will examine the trends and some interesting companies within the Machine Learning/Deep Learning category.

Venture Scanner enables corporations to research, identify, and connect with the most innovative technologies and companies. We do this through a unique combination of our data, technology, and expert analysts. If you would like to learn more about how Venture Scanner could help you research and analyze any sector, contact us at info@venturescanner.com

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