European Business: When many people hear the word robot, they immediately think of the Terminator or Stars Wars or monstrous industrial robots. That’s rather frightening. Should we be afraid of robots in our homes?
Daniela Müller: Not at all, on the contrary. We should lay these fears to rest and recognize that it’s a matter of leisure time and quality of life: If I use robots, then I don’t need to do the work myself – and gain free time. We shouldn’t underestimate that because the leisure time factor determines our quality of life. Today everything revolves around time. Our time is not infinite. Annoying jobs like household chores, yard work, cleaning the windows and other everyday chores have to be done, even after a long day of working eight to ten hours. But I can involve a robot in my household that does the chores and instead take my dog for a walk, go to parties, or meet friends and family.
The products are easy to use and are reliable. People of all ages benefit from them. Whether the user is an 85-year-old grandmother or a young man, maybe someone with a bad back who isn’t very mobile – they use the robot in the home, and it sets off and does the cleaning. In particular with regarding to window cleaning, there are a lot of accidents in the home that can be prevented with robots because they can get to the hard-to-reach places.
European Business: So in your opinion, robots aren’t just something for the techies?
Daniela Müller: No, not at all. We sell robots for indoors and outdoors – there is something for everyone. The target group 25+ is interested especially in household robots for vacuuming, mopping or window cleaning. Slightly older clientele, about 30 and up, tend to buy lawn mowing and pool robots. For the little ones, there are toy and monitoring robots. We also sell massaging robots and 3D printers. And the family dog is kept wonderfully busy with a ball-throwing machine. We have three of our own brands in addition to products from other manufacturers in the household robot sector.
European Business: MyRobotcenter has been around for nearly ten years. How did the business get started with robots back then?
Daniela Müller: The brand myRobotcenter was established by our two Managing Directors Christian Sommer and Daniel Ströhle in 2008. Then a lot of things happened: A showroom and a service and repair center were opened. The first website was created for Austria and Germany. In the meantime, we have one shop each in Götzis and Innsbruck, as well as an Internet presence in several EU countries. With our 27-person team, we generate turnover of about 20 million EUR. It has doubled every year so far, and the forecast continues to be positive.
European Business: And how did you personally get into robots?
Daniela Müller: I’ve been here for six and a half years, first in sales and now as Head of Online Marketing, responsible in particular for the heart of our company: the webshop. I love robots and the company. You could say I have a robot heart beating in my chest. I put the products to the test, even in my free time, because when you know them well, you can convey their features better. I also find the Internet incredibly interesting. I have a Master’s degree in this field and can apply my knowledge well. For me, it’s an extremely exciting job!
It is a highly diversified family business with activities in logistics, IT, automation, manufacturing, e-commerce, temporary employment, tenancy and facility management. And it is both looking backwards and forwards. LB GmbH is committed to sustainable, long-term development of the company and keeping tried-and-tested family values alive. At the same time, the successful, medium-sized enterprise is focused on digitalization, and seizing the vast opportunities offered by this persistent trend which is affecting all areas of life – for its customers and for itself.
In this issue: Omnicell, Inc. - Automation for better care / Accuray Europe SAS - Improving life for cancer patients / Bomi Italia S.p.A. - Handling health around the world / Getinge Group - The human face of healthcare
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