Domestic Robotics Platforms

December 2014
Original Source: Keecker 

Image Source: Keecker

Keecker has successfully outstripped the funding target in its Kickstarter campaign for its home-based robot, with the aim of launching it on the market in September 2015.

Salients

  • Not a Robot - Keecker is a mobile computer which puts a projector and an audio system onto a mobile base equipped with a battery of sensors. Pierre Lebeau, founder and CEO of the company, does not think of it simply as a robot, but as “a kind of collective computer.”

  • A Mobile Audiovisual System - Equipped with a video camera and a projection system, Keecker allows its user to project movies and images, browse the web, make video calls, play video games and create home decoration. The projector can wirelessly display images from compatible devices anywhere you want, thus doing away with the need for a screen: the night sky on your bedroom ceiling, a video game with a group of friends played on a wall, a recipe projected onto the fridge… There is also a built in 3D surround-sound system for playing music.

  • A Roving Security System - The array of sensors can be set to monitor temperature, humidity and CO2 levels. As a home surveillance system it can also detect motion when you aren't at home or check on your pet while you are away on vacation.

  • Android and iOS Compatible - Keecker works with any web-enabled device through apps or web browsers, so you can control it through a smartphone via wifi, since Android and iOS are both natively supported.

Insights

  • Fighting it out for a Share of the Domestic Market - In these early stages of a developing market, Keecker is trying to make a place for itself as a domestic robot with more sophisticated capabilities than a mere vacuum-cleaner. To do this it will have to compete with other options which have recently announced forthcoming launches: such as Jibo, a social robot intended to create an empathy between person and robot which has made a big splash in the media; or Patin, a robotic base onto which can be coupled various modules for the carrying out of different tasks. However with an expected retail price of $4,000 to $5,000 it is hard to imagine that Patin will make much of an inroad on the mass market.

  • Value, Value, Value - The business proposals which succeed are those which respond to a real need felt by prospective clients. Purely technological novelties have only a relatively small take-up: a less than 2% niche in the overall market. To sell sustainably as a consumer good, beyond being just quirky and unique, Keecker will have to convince potential buyers that there is some special value in projecting images onto walls.

  • Converging Towards a Home Robotics Platform - Analogous to the shift which has seen mobile handsets successfully integrated with previously stand-alone devices such as watches, cameras, calculators, radios, music-players or GPS, Nelmia identifies a clear trend towards the integration on a single domestic robotics platform of various facilities which were initially housed independently on separate devices. This platform will incorporate multiple hardware elements and provide the basis for the use of Rapps (robotic apps), which may be designed and made by third parties. The global market for such domestic robotics platforms could reach US$4.8 billion by 2020.

  • A Rapid Evolution of the Domestic Robotics Market - As with any emerging market, many start-ups are appearing with business proposals based on a single product or on a very limited portfolio of products. It is to be expected that within ten years the market for domestic robotic platforms will have consolidated to leave only a small number of big players. During that period the majority of companies will fold or will be taken over by others. And, as has happened in other similar areas, success will not depend on technological excellence alone, but on the ability to understand the needs of consumers and on convincing them that what is being offered will have real value for them.