iRobot burro is a drain and pipe cleaning solution. First of its kind it cleans the entire pipeline by itself without any heavy coils or excess human power. It is designed to enter different pipe sizes and move in any direction. burro will help iRobot tap a new market segment and induce growth.
Through the process of research and design create a product that results in 20% growth of the chosen company.
Through market opportunity identification, market research, business model generation, and iterative concept development present fully realized growth design solutions. Develop a design-driven concept that could add a 20% growth in a new business category.
Time Period: 10 Weeks
The company my team, Indrashish Dutta Roy and I chose was iRobot. We found that it is a relatively new company and has a lot of potential to tap new market segments and grow.
iRobot sells in over 50 countries and has sold more than 30 million consumer robots.
Due to our immense success in the Robotic Vaccum market, there is a lot of competition coming up. Big brands such as Dyson are entering the market. We still have the majority of the market share, but our dominance is severely threatened by companies replicating our technology without the R&D cost that we incur. They also undercut our prices making their products look better off. The listed products are our major competition, right now we are dominating this market but we need to innovate to survive.
Identifying Opportunity Areas
The idea stems from the current pandemic which is going on. iRobot's technology can assist in disinfection of public and private spaces.
Everyday 20% of the clean water produced us lost due to pipe leak.Every year there are about 240,000 water pipe break in just the US itself and many of them cause sinkholes and other severe damages. iRobot has already developed an incredible detection technology which can be used.
We live in a dynamic and constantly changing age. There are almost 13 variations of apartment types, with every room requiring a different type of cleaning. Using iRobot's technology we can take their ' Helping Hand' brand Essence to the next level.
Reasons to shift to a new market?
Rising competition in the consumer robotics market.
Too much money is being spent to protect IP
Tough to maintain low price after R&D in consumer robotics
Diversify and capture a new market.
Drain and Pipe Cleaning
Drain and Pipeline systems have become severly complex over the years, however the cleaning methods are still the orthodox methods used from 1980 onwards. Hence a modern smart solution to industrial pipeline cleaning would be a novel innovation. Drains and pipes are a big maze and inaccessible by humans due to their small size, a automated robotic solution would be highly efficient in this field.
Why the drain and pipe cleaning industry?
Reflection and Next Steps
This Project helped me get an in-depth understanding of the business side of design by encouraging me to think about a new market segment and how it would affect Irobot's business. Over the course of 10 weeks, I was able to enhance my research skills, design thinking, ideation, and CAD skills. I was also able to improve my speaking and presentation skills as I presented my final concept to a panel which consisted of industry leaders ranging from entrepreneurs to designers. As the next step for this project, my partner and I would like to collaborate with a development team and create a prototype. We would also look into IP and existing patents so that we can develop a robot that is one of its kind.
This project was completed in collaboration with Indrashish Dutta Roy over a course of 10 weeks for Innovation by Design at Rhode Island School of Design