First attempts at any new technology always have a hacked-together or built-in-the-garage look to them. The designers are overjoyed to just get their concept working, and usually don’t have much appreciation for the artistic beauty of their creation. But, as the technology evolves and starts to become more generally accepted, artistic design values start to play a larger and larger part in the customer’s purchase decision.
If you are responsible for a factory production line and need a robot to select and install tiny parts at lightening speed, then how the robot looks is probably way, way down on your list of selection criteria.
On the other hand, if you are a homeowner with a beautiful house that you are really proud to show off, you might be attracted to a robot’s technology, but it has to fit your own image of your lifestyle and personality as well.
Robot designers and manufacturers are just starting to come to grips with that aspect of robot creation and packaging. As a result, we’re starting to see companies try to differentiate their robot products through pleasing and attractive design, as well as some traditional marketing strategies.
A good example is the way that LG has packaged, and is trying to promote, their robot floor vacuums:
LG robot vacuum
From a purely technical perspective, their robot vacuum is basically the same as many others on the market. LG knows this, though they might try to argue that their robot is technically superior. At the same time, they have redefined the battle for the customers purchase decision with the creative application of some design features to make their robot look more racy, great lines, a candy apple red color, and a very attractive and inviting model, who just happens to be laying on the floor.
This shift in design focus isn’t just limited to the general consumer market place. It’s also taking place in more mondane sectors like industrial and security applications. You would think that style doesn’t matter when it comes to selecting a guard robot intended to just make it’s rounds and report on intruders. Some companies, like ROBOWATCH, based in Germany, already see the handwriting on the wall and are marketing security robots that incorporate a lot of attractive and very modern design styling.
ROBOWATCH Mosro Mini
All things considered, we think this trend is great. It won’t be long before we pick our robots in much the same way that we pick our cars - to match our personalities and how we see ourselves, or would like others to see us.
ROBOWATCH Mosro 1