The International Organization for Standardization defines a “service robot” as a robot “that performs useful tasks for humans or equipment excluding industrial automation applications”. (ISO 8373)
According to ISO 8373 robots require “a degree of autonomy”, which is the “ability to perform intended tasks based on current state and sensing, without human intervention”. For service robots this ranges from partial autonomy - including human robot interaction - to full autonomy - without active human robot intervention. The IFR statistics for service robots therefore include systems based on some degree of human robot interaction or even full tele-operation as well as fully autonomous systems.
Service robots are categorized according to personal or professional use. They have many forms and structures as well as application areas.
Statistical data on service robots is available in the World Robotics section.
Case studies on service robots can be found here.