Robohub.org
 

Global and iRobot floor cleaning market

by
25 April 2016



share this:

iRobot recently divested its defense division so that it could focus on consumer and mobility products. Red Mountain Capital, a hedge fund that owns ~6% of iRobot stock wants to place two people on the iRobot board to effect some change.

Proxy Fight

Red Mountain Capital has forced iRobot into a battle over management direction, a fight described in detail in a story by Jon Chesto of The Boston Globe: IRobot CEO faces what could be his biggest test: a heated proxy battle over company’s future.

Red Mountain considers itself to be an activist shareholder – and wants to play a more direct role in how iRobot is run, how iRobot funds are allocated to R&D, how expenses are controlled, and how much is returned to shareholders. iRobot thinks it is successfully handling strategic planning, product development, return on equity, and prudent manufacturing operations without adding extra financial advice from non-industry people to the mix.

The Globe article, describing iRobot's planning for the future, describes iRobot's Venture Group and their investments in future companies within the mobility, consumer and home marketplaces – all areas where iRobot has expertise. One investment is particularly interesting and offers the prospect of much growth for iRobot as well as the startup: 6 River Systems, a Massachusetts startup comprised of ex-Kiva Systems execs. 6 River is providing a mobile robot solution for material handling in warehouses, factories and distribution centers. It's a big marketplace particularly since Amazon has taken the Kiva technology in-house with the consequence that new vendors (such as 6 River) are scrambling to fill the void.

In the Boston Globe article I was quoted as summarizing the iRobot / Red Mountain proxy fight as follows:

“From time to time, any company really can use a shake-up. But you can shake up the company [iRobot] just by talking to Colin,” Tobe said. “You don’t need to put two hedge-fund, money-type people on the board.”

global-and-irobot-floor-robot-sales

Global Home Vacuum Market

From the chart above one can see that iRobot's share of the global robot floor cleaning market is 63% of units and 40% of revenue, and shows year-over-year gains of 8.3% for units and 9.3% for revenue.

The robot segment of the overall home vacuum cleaner market has also been growing. Colin Angle, iRobot co-founder, Chairman and CEO, used this chart in a 2014 presentation:

Vacuum-market-growth-yellow

Thus one can see that robotic vacuum sales are becoming more popular but at a lower growth rate than the general vacuum market growth rate. And from Angle's presentation slide, it's clear that although iRobot has a goodly share of the market, their revenue could be higher and their overall capture rate is going down instead of up.

Conflicting Forecasts

The following three research reports vary widely but all show double-digit growth within the robotic sector of the global home vacuum market.

  • Global Industry Analysts, a San Jose, CA research firm, in a 2014 report, forecasted the global market for household vacuum cleaners to reach $11.4 billion and 115.7 million units by 2020. 
  • Grand View Research, a San Francisco research company, in a 2015 report, says that the global household vacuum cleaner market size was valued at $11.2 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow at a 4.9% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2022. Grand View also estimates that the robot vacuum segment will grow at a CAGR of 11.4% over the forecast period.
  • ABI Research, in a 2015 report on Robotic Home Care predicted that the home care/lawn care robotics market will surpass US$2.9 billion by 2019, up from US$1.2B in 2014 and that approximately 7M robotic home care/lawn care products will be sold in 2019, up from 3.4M in 2014, representing a CAGR of 15.6%.


tags: ,


Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.
Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.





Related posts :



Open Robotics Launches the Open Source Robotics Alliance

The Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) is pleased to announce the creation of the Open Source Robotics Alliance (OSRA), a new initiative to strengthen the governance of our open-source robotics so...

Robot Talk Episode 77 – Patricia Shaw

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Patricia Shaw from Aberystwyth University all about home assistance robots, and robot learning and development.
18 March 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 64 – Rav Chunilal

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Rav Chunilal from Sellafield all about robotics and AI for nuclear decommissioning.
31 December 2023, by

AI holidays 2023

Thanks to those that sent and suggested AI and robotics-themed holiday videos, images, and stories. Here’s a sample to get you into the spirit this season....
31 December 2023, by and

Faced with dwindling bee colonies, scientists are arming queens with robots and smart hives

By Farshad Arvin, Martin Stefanec, and Tomas Krajnik Be it the news or the dwindling number of creatures hitting your windscreens, it will not have evaded you that the insect world in bad shape. ...
31 December 2023, by

Robot Talk Episode 63 – Ayse Kucukyilmaz

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Ayse Kucukyilmaz from the University of Nottingham about collaboration, conflict and failure in human-robot interactions.
31 December 2023, by





Robohub is supported by:




Would you like to learn how to tell impactful stories about your robot or AI system?


scicomm
training the next generation of science communicators in robotics & AI


©2024 - Association for the Understanding of Artificial Intelligence


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association