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Barriers to Innovation Diffusion for Social Robotics Start-ups: And Methods of Crossing the Chasm
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Marketing and Entrepreneurship.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Social robots and artificial intelligence are radical innovations at the cutting edge of technology. Touted as the fourth industrial revolution, the future is looking bright for social robotics, and for the markets which can benefit from this technology. However, despite a wealth of research regarding technical functionality, there has been little research conducted into the future strategies required to ensure the successful diffusion of these innovations into society or effective methods of influencing rapid adoption rates in target markets. 

The following research questions have been designed to identify potential solutions to existing and future problems facing the social robotics industry:

What are the barriers to the early stages of the diffusion of innovation for social robotics start-ups? How can these innovative companies cross the chasm?

In order to formulate the findings, primary research was conducted in the form of interviews within three categories: academics, practitioners and social robotics experts. Secondary research was undertaken to analyse and compare primary findings. The research is purely qualitative as quantitative data was purposefully disregarded due to limitations on time and scope. 

In summary, social robotics start-ups face significant barriers to diffusion such as inherently expensive products and misaligned customer expectations. Attracting ‘pragmatists in pain’ is vital to be able to cross the chasm and a strong reference base is necessary for social robots to be adopted in the mainstream market. Start-ups need to meet the demands of the ‘expected product’ to attract the early majority (pragmatist) segment, providing a greater possibility of crossing the chasm and enabling rapid adoption. It is assumed that either a mass or niche strategy can be chosen, depending on the type of product in subject. An adaptation to the technology adoption life cycle has been made in the form of the ‘double-bell curve’ and the ‘V’ in the chasm has been identified within the process of successful diffusion. Methods of improving the rate of adoption have been applied in consideration of the ‘technology acceptance model’, with a heavy focus on increasing trialability and observability. There is a risk of potential ‘overadoption’ in the social robotics industry, however the changing shift in customer attitudes towards technology adoption lowers boundaries to diffusion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 38 p.
Keyword [en]
Crossing the Chasm, Diffusion, Innovation, Social Robotics, Technology Adoption
National Category
Robotics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-209025OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-209025DiVA: diva2:1109835
External cooperation
Furhat Robotics - Samer Al Moubayed
Subject / course
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management
Educational program
Master of Science - Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-07-11 Created: 2017-06-14 Last updated: 2017-07-11Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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CiteExportLink to record
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