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Robots @ Home

 

Disclaimer from website owners: The information on this page is produced based on our personal knowledge and research. We do not claim any authority or expertise on the subject of robotics and therefore do not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.

When we think of robots, usually our first thought is C-3PO and R2D2 and the hopes of one day in the near future having a golden intelligent being roaming around the house. Unfortunately, science is not quite there yet and many robot creators and scientists are skeptical of future household robots even looking like what we imagine today. However, although we are not seeing the live version of Star Wars yet, scientists are certainly on the right path.

In an article in the Scientific American in 2006, Bill Gates compares the early development stages of computer technology to that of robotics. Right now companies, such as Microsoft, are digging into robot technology, using their resources and encouraging new development and applications. So it’s not a stretch to imagine household robots becoming increasingly integrated into our lives and homes over the next decade.

 

 
Using Robots to Clean

 

The Past:

While we are waiting for an all-in-one personal robotic assistant, we can definitely get excited about the advanced robotic cleaning assistants that make our daily chores easier.

In the early stages of intelligent vacuums and robotic cleaners the technology was new and full of gaps. In fact, competitions have been held all over the world bringing different inventors and technologies together to explore what technology already existed out there and what work still needed to be done. Some vacuum robots would clean more efficiently than others, but did not have the navigation system to avoid children or pets, while others would get stuck in corners or be drained of power in just a few minutes.

Over the last decade the development of the household robotic appliance has taken leaps and bounds, and now we finally have efficient, although not perfect robotic appliances, which are more than just an adult toy for bragging rights.

Here are some good reads about the history of robotic vacuum cleaners:

Erwin Prassler, Arno Ritter, Christoph Schaeffer, Paolo Fiorini. 'A Short History of Cleaning Robots'. Auton. Robots, 2000: 211~226

Ja-Young Sung, Rebecca E. Grinter, Henrik I. Christensen, Lan Guo. 'Housewives or Technophiles?: Understanding Domestic Robot Owners'.

The Present:

Millions of people all over the world have integrated vacuum cleaning robots into their homes and cleaning closets, and their number is beginning to increase exponentially. At first, statistics suggested that buyers of robotic vacuum cleaners primarily bought one due to curiosity and the excitement of having a robot in their home. Demonstrations and gifts for others were also high on the list of reasons to buy. On that list, however, was not necessarily actual functionality or efficiency. One of the largest complaints currently out there in the blogosphere is the lack of practicality and the fact that most robot vacuums have had a problem of breaking down after a short period of time. Our developers at Bobsweep have looked into these complaints and have created an efficient and technologically-advanced robotic vacuum cleaner that we stand behind and support for a lifetime. This is while we are constantly improving our technology. Read bObsweep's vision for more insight on our goals and philosophy.

The Future

Just because we are not there yet, does not mean that we can’t get excited about the prospects of future cleaning technology! The future of cleaning is bound to get ever more exciting. Already in Silicon Valley, California The ReadyBot Challenge group has created an intelligent robot that can do some of the regular kitchen chores. It cannot do everything yet; but KAR (kitchen assistant robot) does do the dishes and empty the trash. This invention is still in its ‘first prototypes’ stage, but we can be assured that it’s being worked on and that there will be plenty of other KARs just like this one in the near future.

 

 

 
What else can robots do for us?

 

The advanced robot technology already allows for numerous applications in all parts of life, from on the line factory production to chemical detection to weapons development. When a soldier loses a hand in war, a new prosthetic arm with robot-like characteristics can now act as a substitute; granted, it’s not as functional as a real body part, but scientists are improving and perfecting the technology every day. One day, robots will be fully integrated into our lives for an abundance of purposes. For now, however, we can stick to intelligent robotics in the household.

 


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