Americans Willing to Pay for Laundry-Folding Robots

Americans are eager for a little domestic help around the house — in the form of robots. That's according to new research that found that 68 percent of those surveyed said a domestic robot would make their household chores easier.

More than half of those surveyed by online research firm Persuadable Research Corp. said a robot would be useful for moving heavy things.

Other desired tasks included:

  • Providing home security
  • Cleaning windows
  • Washing floors and dishes
  • Doing laundry

Almost half (46 percent) wanted to use their robot to remind them of things, kind of like a personal assistant. A smaller number wanted robots that would interact with humans, including working with the disabled (12 percent), assisting the elderly (11 percent), or functioning as babysitters (9 percent).

These findings may present an opportunity for innovative entrepreneurs looking to cash in by developing and marketing these automatic domestic assistants. Survey respondents said the perfect robot would have a humanlike voice that sounded neither too young nor too old. More than half said they preferred a voice that wouldn't sound too feminine or too masculine, either. In terms of appearance, respondents said the perfect robot would be more humanlike than machinelike, a little on the funny side, more colorful than metallic, more round than square, and allow for personalized design, perhaps like buying a car.

While 29 percent of respondents claim that they wouldn't buy a robot, others were ready to shell out real dough for such an item. Forty-one percent said they might consider a loan to pay for a robot. However, just about a third (28 percent) who were willing to pay said they wanted the robot to cost under $999. Another 20 percent would go up to $4,999, while 10 percent would be willing to pay up to $14,999. Thirteen percent who were willing to pay more than $15,000.