Back in 2007, Bill Gates published the article “A Robot in Every Home”, where he reflected on the potential of robots and their role in performing household tasks and human training. But at that time neither the robots nor the people were not ready for permanent cooperation.
Robots in Everyday Human Life
Over the past decade, the transformation of robotics has been enormous, and from clumsy, cumbersome, and often intimidating mechanisms, robots have become full-fledged participants in almost any process. I will discuss in which sector you can lean on the iron shoulder, and what types of robots for everyday life are available.
The main purpose of creating robots is to avoid heavy, dangerous, or routine work. Simply put, this is a help: devices should not replace a person completely but free his thoughts and hands from monotonous work.
This allows a person to focus on developing unique projects and performing tasks that require not only accuracy, but also intuition, individual taste, and experience, and help a robot achieve maximum efficiency and productivity.
Today, we will focus on household robots that will be relevant for performing daily tasks.
Types of robots:
We will not talk about popular voice assistants, such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, or Alice, but full-fledged devices that can also provide physical assistance or keep you company in the game.
The most outstanding developments can be called iCub, Roboy, and the most recognizable android Asimo.
iCub is a product of the Italian Institute of Technology.
The robot looks similar to its prototype (human), can recognize objects and people’s faces, find differences and, of course, interact. At the request of the owner, iCub can pick up or bring household items (cups, plates) or even compete with the child in archery. One of the distinctive features of the robot is that it looks like a 2-year-old child, but also learns the world, improving the quality of its functions.
Roboy is the development of the University of Zurich. The creators accurately simulated the muscles, tendons, and joints on the device. Roboy is also able to express emotions (even blushes with embarrassment).
The height of the mechanism is about 1 meter. This development should be useful for the elderly because Roboy is both a companion and an assistant, or people with disabilities.
Asimo from the Japanese giant Honda can evaluate the requests of a person, and respond accordingly. Asimo can also estimate how much force must be applied to interact with an object (a cup of coffee or a piece of paper), so as not to damage it.
VGo is a robotic device that creates the effect of telepresence. The technology is similar to other programs that allow you to not only hear but also see the interlocutor.
Unlike analogs, VGo is not only a monitor but also a special stand with wheels, which you can control and interact with your interlocutors. The robot is very relevant for children with disabilities who cannot attend a school or other educational institutions, the elderly, or managers who want to control what is happening in several places at the same time.
Industrial facilities and offices are also actively using robo-technology. Robot couriers deliver parcels on their own, robot movers work tirelessly in Amazon and Alibaba warehouses, and offices are patrolled by Cobalt Robotics.
With its design, Cobalt Robotics resembles a rack with a water cooler. The device is equipped with sensors, thermal imagers, cameras, and artificial intelligence – all this for quickly detecting malfunctions, as well as any manifestations of aggression. Information about all detected violations is transmitted to the security point.
Pilo was developed as an assistant that takes care of the owner’s health. This compact robot will remind you about taking medications, help you navigate the dosage of drugs, and will also be able to answer questions, for example, about whether or food nutrition.
In case of an emergency, a caring robot will help you contact your doctor or relatives. Thanks to the cameras, you can monitor the health of your loved ones in real-time.
The humanoid robot Romeo will help you move around, open doors, and help contact relatives or medical professionals on time.
The height of the robot is 1.43 m, and the weight is 40 kg. Since it has functional limbs (not only palms, but also phalanges), Romeo can communicate with the owner using gestures, and not only speech.
Not a teddy bear, but a cute robo-bear-Robear will help to lift the elderly, from a bed or wheelchair, and will also accompany you during movement, preventing accidents.
Robear, which weighs 140kg, can withstand a load of up to 230 kg. Every movement of the robot is very careful because of special sensors.
For cooking, you can call on Moley Robotics, who will take on the role of a chef in the kitchen. The robot is controlled with a smartphone app. Moley Robotics can easily control almost any kitchen appliance. The robot uses recipes of dishes on the Web.
Grillbot is a robot vacuum cleaner for grilling. It will help to clean the grill grates. The Grillbot processor controls its movement, as well as selects the desired speed and direction for the brushes.
The device can clean both the cooled grill and still hot grates: you can start cleaning after 10-15 minutes after cooking is complete.
It is impossible to ignore the most routine part of everyday life – cleaning. Engineers have developed several robots for this, the most popular ones are vacuum cleaners. Unlike competitors, robot vacuum cleaners have become popular among people.
The most advanced model is the Japanese Dyson 360 Eye. It costs more than $1,000 and is available only in Japan, but this device is equipped with a camera with a 360° viewing angle and six additional sensors that will tell the robot exactly where it is clean, and where it needs to clean.
Slightly inferior in functionality, but more popular – iRobot Roomba 980. The device remembers the plan of a house, and management and control can be carried out using a smartphone.
For those who constantly forget to water the flowers, Parrot has released compact gardeners Pot and H20. The models are equipped with sensors for analyzing the state of plants and soil moisture, and if necessary, water the plants. The important thing is not to forget to pour water into the robot itself.
For lawn owners, the development of robo-lawnmowers is like dreams come true. Many manufacturers, such as Bosch and HUSQVARNA, have released their versions of the robots-gardeners, but the leadership in this segment belongs to ROBOMOW.
RS635 PRO INSTALLATION is equipped with sensors that allow you to look after large areas (up to 3,500 square meters).
Let’s start with robo-pets. The most recognizable pet Aibo has been augmented with artificial intelligence and is once again gaining popularity among children and adults.
The Aibo robot dog will be able to recognize faces, express emotions, and in the course of “growing up” even acquire its character.
Two models that were placed in different conditions will differ from each other – the development and character will depend on the chosen approach of the owners.
Kuri from the startup Mayfield Robotics, Zenbo from ASUS, and similar models from other manufacturers can be a good toy for a child. Such devices look, not like a person, but like a robot from the “Star Wars” or “Vali” saga, this allowed manufacturers not to waste time creating plastic joints, but to focus on intellectual communication and development (reading fairy tales and books, learning languages).
These robots can also be used as a compact security system: they signal the owners about the strangers into the home.
Another VGo development is Remote Students. It is useful for those students who cannot attend school independently. A robot will do it instead.
A student or his assistant will be able to move between classrooms, as well as peers to answer questions, communicate with friends.
The development of educational devices for children with autism, for whom facial expressions and nonverbal signals of others are distractions, is of great help.
The immutable appearance of the robot is the perfect solution for this case: Nao robot (Aldebaran Robotics) will help in the development of communication skills.
During educational games, children with ASD learn and gradually adopt fundamental behavioral habits (facial expressions, imitation).
Kaspar robot (University of Hertfordshire) does not look very attractive, but children like it. The creators of Kaspar deliberately avoided excessive realism, it helps to gradually socialize and learn to navigate in the facial expressions of people.
As a student, I preferred to edit my paper online to make the Education process easier.
Despite the development and diversity, robots, still do not “live” in every home. People don’t trust robots as much as themselves and other people. Some even find them “scary”.
It is up to you whether to invest in a robot to simplify your life or not. Just keep in mind that thousands of people use robots every day, and spend more time on what they truly love (not cleaning).