Monday, July 17, 2006

Robot Vacuum Roundup

An article in JoongAng Daily announces another new household vacuum robot. This one is by HanulKid Co. Their machine also sprays steam and scrubs with a special brush.

Just last month Samsung's Hauzen Household announced that they were releasing two vacuum robots to the public.
According to the article, a spokesman for Samsung, Kwon Hyuk-guk, says, "We expect the market to grow, since double income households are growing, and as the price of robot vacuum cleaners goes down, they replace existing vacuum cleaners at a fast pace. By 2010, robot cleaners will take up 70 to 80 percent of all vacuum cleaners."
He is talking about sales in Korea, but it is still a surprising prediction to me. Only 20 to 30 percent of the households will still be vacuuming their floors by themselves. Everyone else will not even remember how to do it.

The article describes the variety of units available in Korea:

Hanulkid Co.
- Eductaional robot company joining the vacuum market. Available October 2006, with steam powered cleaning.

- Two new models. Around $1000.

Yujin iClebo - $300 and up

iRobot Roomba -
US company, $150 - $400, depending on features.

ElectroLux Trilobite - $1800

Hanool Ottoro - $1000- $2000 "Ottoro is a cleaning robot that has the highest existing intelligence level in the world today."

LG Electronics Roboking - $1500. LG says that sales of robot vacuums surpased manual machines in February this year.

According to the article sales of robot vacuums in Korea last year were US $1.6 million and are expected to triple over the next few years.
The cheaper brands dominate the market with iRobot filling 50% and iClebo 35% of the sales.

INSIDE JoongAng Daily



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