woman shaking hand with robot

Although 2021 saw renewed investment and focus on the social robotics market, 2022 will not be the breakout year the industry is hoping for, according to a new report on technology trends.

Awareness is growing regarding how social robotics can play a role in monitoring and care of key consumer demographics, especially in senior living and care. Even before the pandemic, many experts were expressing concerns about the effects of loneliness and social isolation among older adults. Across the country, independent and assisted living providers looked to socially assistive robotic pets to provide companionship to residents as communities dealt with lockdowns and banned outside visitors. 

In a report released Thursday by global technology intelligence firm ABI Research, the authors noted the ongoing need and interest in social robotics. 

“After several years of leading social robotics companies either shutting up shop or withdrawing their commercial offerings, 2021 saw renewed investment and focus on the market and its potential,” they wrote, pointing in particular to Amazon’s launch of its first social robot, the Astro. Despite the technology’s enormous potential, however, the authors don’t expect companion robots to make their way into every senior living residence in 2022. 

“The market still must determine the appeal of key aspects, including form factor, broad functionality/specific capabilities, and end-user comfort, and 2022 will have come and gone before much of that work is honed,” they concluded.