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With sales of robot lawnmowers beginning to climb, leading lawnmower retailer Lawnmowers Direct says the future of the market is an exciting reflection of the way smart technology is making our lives easier.

A recent report from market intelligence firm Tractica claims that shipments of consumer robots will increase from 6.6 million units in 2015 to 31.2 million units by 2020. While the fastest growth is predicted in new robotic personal assistants, Tractica anticipates that household robots will continue to be the largest segment of the market for the next few years.

Household robots include vacuum robots, like the Roomba, and robotic lawnmowers, like Honda’s Miimo.

Miimo — an intelligent robotic lawnmower with sensors to prevent it from wandering off-course and damaging pot plants — was first launched in 2012, with a tiny initial sales target of just 4,000 units throughout Europe. With launch prices starting at £1,990, Miimo was clearly targeting the luxury end of the market. Husqvarna’s answer to the robot lawnmower — the Husqvarna Automower — comes with a similar price tag.

“We stock a range of robotic lawnmowers, but the Husqvarna Automower 330X was our most popular this year,” says Mark Bartram, Managing Director at Lawnmowers Direct. “It’s since been superseded by the 430X. I think the demand for robotic lawnmowers is there, but not everyone can afford them at the current price point,” he explains.

“Each year, we’re selling more of these products. People are interested. On top of that, there are some really exciting developments in gardening technology at the moment. Husqvarna, for example, recently unveiled the Ramus, a concept hedge-trimmer with an augmented reality visor.”

“There’s definitely a future in consumer robots and I’m excited to see where it’s headed. Some of the more recent models can be controlled from a smartphone, and I think this use of smart technology to simplify housework and lawn care is really appealing to a lot of people.”

“If more affordable options keep entering the market, I’m confident that we will soon see the robot lawnmower truly take off.”

Tractica anticipates that 100 million consumer robots will be sold during the next five years. With current pricing putting the majority of household robots firmly in the “luxury” category, prices on these goods will have to drop if Tractica’s prediction is to prove correct.

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Sam Wright
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