Robotic vacuum cleaners or lawnmower robots are sold in millions in a country like Germany alone. The user acceptance for such robots (as long as the price-performance ratio is right) is high. Also a Robot like R2D2 from the Star Wars series arouses sympathies with most people.

However, robot psychology shows: The more a robot takes on a humanoid form, the more irritation (if not: lack of acceptance) is a consequence. This phenomenon is known as "Uncanny Valley Syndrome". The German futurologist and trend researcher Matthias Horx goes so far as to say that this phenomenon (at least in the short term) considerably reduces the odds of success of "social robots" (example: "JIBO"). This limitation to user acceptance may change over time (the acceptance of humanoid robots in Japan, for example, is very high), but in the short term this constitutes an obstacle for the market of social robots.


The author is a manager in the software industry with international expertise: Authorized officer at one of the large consulting firms - Responsible for setting up an IT development center at the Bangalore offshore location - Director M&A at a software company in Berlin.