October 4, 2002
Robots will flood in Europe
According to the newly released survey "World Robotics 2002", produced by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), "2001 was a record year for robot investment in Europe". At the end of 2001, there were about 360,000 industrial robots in Japan, 220,000 in Europe and 100,000 in North America. The European market has continued to grow, despite the 9-11 crisis, while sales have plummeted in Japan and the United States. For the period 2002-2005, "the world market is forecasted to grow by an annual average of 7.5%", says the survey, which indicates that Europe will experience a dramatic increase of its robotics population: in 2005, there should be 352,000 units in Japan, 321,000 in the European Union and 131,000 in North America.
The survey also explains that "Household robots are now on the verge of taking off", with the emergence of robotic vacuum cleaners, automatic lawnmowers or entertainment robots. At the end of 2001, it is estimated "that over 20,000 domestic robots, all types included, have been installed" while entertainment robots count for 150,000 units. The survey forecasts "a huge increase in sales" for the period 2002-2005, both for domestic robots (vacuum cleaning, lawn mowing, window cleaning and other types, that could reach 700,000 units) and for toy and entertainment robots, that could exceed one million units.

Picture: © UNECE

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