The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the progress in robotics technology, characterized by enhancements in sensors, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI), and the creation of robots with superior capabilities and versatility, as well as growing importance of technologies such as advanced sensors, mapping and localization, and autonomous navigation. Advancements in robotics and AI continue to drive innovation in the field, leading to more intelligent, efficient, and capable cleaning robots. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Robotics in technology: cleaning robots. Buy the report here.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
190+ innovations will shape the technology industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, inspection robots, robotic maintenance, and cleaning robots are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Surveillance robots, warehouse management automation, and automated palletizing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing.
Innovation S-curve for robotics in the technology industry
Cleaning robots is a key innovation area in robotics
Cleaning robots are machines that operate autonomously or with partial autonomy, specifically intended for the purpose of cleaning various surfaces such as floors and carpets. These robots employ a combination of tools such as brushes, vacuums, and other cleaning mechanisms to perform their tasks with efficiency and effectiveness within the designated cleaning area.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 900+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of cleaning robots.
Key players in cleaning robots – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to cleaning robots
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|BSH Hausgerate||141||Unlock Company Profile|
|LG Electronics||3544||Unlock Company Profile|
|Vorwerk||821||Unlock Company Profile|
|Samsung Electronics||1611||Unlock Company Profile|
|QIHOO 360 Technology||83||Unlock Company Profile|
|SharkNinja Operating||282||Unlock Company Profile|
|TOSHIBA LIFESTYLE PRODUCTS & SERVICES||471||Unlock Company Profile|
|Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software||187||Unlock Company Profile|
|Carl Freudenberg||47||Unlock Company Profile|
|Dyson Technology||308||Unlock Company Profile|
|Panasonic Intellectual Property Management||162||Unlock Company Profile|
|Walmart Apollo||97||Unlock Company Profile|
|Jiangsu Midea Cleaning Appliances||284||Unlock Company Profile|
|Bissell||149||Unlock Company Profile|
|Gree Electric Appliances||302||Unlock Company Profile|
|Midea Group||1068||Unlock Company Profile|
|Micro-Star International||50||Unlock Company Profile|
|AB Electrolux||289||Unlock Company Profile|
|iRobot||1489||Unlock Company Profile|
|PixArt Imaging||55||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nidec||60||Unlock Company Profile|
|Groupe SEB||62||Unlock Company Profile|
|Koninklijke Philips||133||Unlock Company Profile|
|Panasonic||215||Unlock Company Profile|
|Yujin Robot||55||Unlock Company Profile|
|Miele & Cie||182||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sharp||214||Unlock Company Profile|
|Makita||96||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toshiba Home Appliances||51||Unlock Company Profile|
|Walmart||110||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toshiba||102||Unlock Company Profile|
|Eurofilters||51||Unlock Company Profile|
|Alfred Karcher||56||Unlock Company Profile|
|Brain||72||Unlock Company Profile|
|BISSELL Homecare||106||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ecovacs Robotics||341||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shanghai Gaussian Automation Technology Development||141||Unlock Company Profile|
|Beijing Roborock Technology||262||Unlock Company Profile|
|Xiaomi||228||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ai||54||Unlock Company Profile|
|Positec Power Tools (Suzhou)||139||Unlock Company Profile|
|ELG Electronic Kft||54||Unlock Company Profile|
|Xiaogou Electric Internet Technology (Beijing)||72||Unlock Company Profile|
|Guangdong Midea White Home Appliance Technology Innovation Center||53||Unlock Company Profile|
|Zhuhai Amicro Semiconductor||185||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hizero Technologies||54||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shenzhen Silver Star Intelligent Technology||466||Unlock Company Profile|
|EVERYBOT||97||Unlock Company Profile|
|Alfred Karcher||60||Unlock Company Profile|
|Midea Robozone Technology||51||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
LG is the leading patent filer in cleaning robots. The company’s patents are aimed at a robot cleaner including a 3D sensor unit installed on a main body to sense nearby objects and output sensing information, a secondary sensor unit to sense nearby objects and output sensing information, and a storage unit configured to set a diagnostic algorithm according to a diagnostic mode in advance.
The cleaning robot also has a unit to input an execution command for the diagnostic mode, a control unit to auto-correct the diagnostic mode for the 3D sensor using the diagnostic algorithm in response to the execution command, and an output unit configured to output an execution result of the diagnostic mode and a correction message.
Other prominent patent filers in the cleaning robots space include Samsung, iRobot, and Midea Group.
In terms of geographic reach, Walmart leads the pack, followed by Eurofilters and iRobot. In terms of application diversity, Walmart holds the top position, followed by Nidec and Dyson.
The significance of cleaning robots lies in its ability to enhance cleaning efficiency, improve cleanliness and hygiene, provide convenience and accessibility, ensure consistent and reliable results, contribute to safety and health, offer cost savings, promote sustainability, and drive technological progress.
To further understand how robotics is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics.