Household Robots for the Consumer Market

General information

Most people find the idea of a service robot carrying out tedious, unrewarding household chores a highly attractive proposition. Household robots for the consumer market differ from industrial or commercial robots in that they have to meet the following requirements:

  • Extremely low purchase and maintenance costs
  • Easy to use, no training required
  • Robust operation in an unfamiliar environment

The number of these products and corresponding sales figures have risen steadily in recent years. In 2015, approx. 3.7 million household robots were sold worldwide. The vast majority of these were used for floor-cleaning tasks, especially vacuuming. Other applications include mowing lawns and cleaning windows and pools.

Expertise and sample projects

For many years, Fraunhofer IPA has been working on the development of new technologies and solutions for household robotics and has acquired extensive knowledge over this period. Its expertise cover the construction of complete systems using space- and energy-saving components as well as the development and implementation of all related sub-systems:

  • Development of diverse climbing robots as a basis for autonomous window cleaning
  • Development of test platforms for evaluating innovative navigation strategies for robot vacuum cleaners
  • Development of an innovative lawn-mowing robot including control software
  • Design and realization of positioning technologies as well as systematic comprehensive navigation methods using low-cost sensors


Fraunhofer IPA offers support throughout the entire development of your specific household robot, from design to prototype construction.

  • Workshops for identifying concepts
  • Feasibility and market studies
  • Tests and performance analyses on existing products
  • Design of small mobile robots and respective subsystems, taking tight constraints on manufacturing costs into account
  • Development and construction of functional models (electrical, mechanical, electronic and software models)
  • Integration of available components, e.g. cleaning systems developed by partners
  • Endurance tests with automatic data capture and subsequent analysis

Support in the development of prototypes and serial products.


Tabl-O-bot - a small transport robot for tables