13 years after a first attempt, Dyson announced early September another entrance into the robotic vacuum cleaner market. In 2001, a similar project was suspended at the last minute because the product was judged “too heavy and too expensive” (about $3,000), so therefore it would have had limited commercial potential (good decision, in retrospect).
But for Dyson and its competitors, robotic vacuum solutions still have an opportunity if they: offer a lower price, provide higher quality (e.g. dirt pickup), more flexibility/agility, and/or add additional features and functions. Without introducing some or all of these attributes, not much will change in the market (despite examples like iRobot’s Roomba having made steady, though unspectacular progress).
This document outlines the current market and its challenges as well as prospective solutions to tap this $50 billion market opportunity.