Service robots assist human beings, typically by performing a job that is dirty, dull, distant, dangerous or repetitive, including household chores. They typically are autonomous and/or operated by a build in control system, with manual override options. The term “service robot” is less well-defined. The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) has proposed a tentative definition, “A service robot is a robot which operates semi- or fully autonomously to perform services useful to the well-being of humans and equipment, excluding manufacturing operations.”
The IFR database is used to ask service robot manufacturers worldwide to send back information on robot sales (in units and value) from the previous year in each category and to estimate cumulated sales forecast for the coming 4 years, see Figure 1.1. The process is typically conducted in the first half of the year, i.e. from February to June 2016. Response rate exceed 30%. Information which could not be retrieved from manufacturers directly is collected through data base research and other channels e.g. annual reports, market surveys and estimates.