The year is 2016, and robots are in our homes, offices, and around us almost constantly. Here are 11 actions that robots can already do to save us the trouble of doing them
We live in the era in which a home robot helper is an appliance that many people can afford. Robot vacuum cleaners like Roomba have been around for while, and they are only one example of the many autonomous appliances that have been programmed to perform the chores we hate doing, or at least tasks we would prefer giving to someone — or something — else. What tasks can home robots already perform?
1. Defeat the dust
Most electrical appliance manufacturers, like the iRobot company, have already joined the robot floor cleaners market. At the bottom end of the market are low-tech solutions that will vacuum the dust in a room randomly, such as the robot cleaner offered by the Vileda company for $195.65. At the top of the market are robots costing $699, such as Neato BotVac Connected, which use laser sensors to scan and map their surroundings, plan an efficient path, and clean the entire area. They can even be controlled using a smartphone.
2. Wash the floors
Robot vacuum cleaners are standouts in the battle against dust. Unfortunately, they do not wash floors. The iRobot Scooba 450, however ($412.22), is capable of sweeping, washing, and waxing even especially tough floors, thereby giving you more time to look online for more robot helpers.
3. Mow the lawn
In view of the dizzying success of robot vacuum cleaners, it comes as no surprise that the popularity of robot lawnmowers is also increasing by leaps and bounds. The market starts at $919 for a simple model, such as Flymo 1200r 18v, and goes as high as $3,499.95 for the prestigious Husqvarna Automower 450X.
4. Drain the gutters
Yes, there is even a robot for this chore. For $299.99, you can buy the iRobot Looj 330 model, put it into the gutters, and let it wallow there with its drill, grinding up leaves and dirt.
5. Clean the windows
If you do not want to pay someone $12.50 an hour to clean your windows, you can pay NIS $449.99 for the WINBOT 930 model, and put technology in charge of the job. All you have to do is turn on the robot helper, fasten it to the window, and look on while it uses its sensors for cleaning purposes.
6. Clean the barbecue grill
The least enjoyable part of a picnic is cleaning the barbecue grill afterwards. Your home sink is usually too small to wash the grill in it, and scrubbing the burnt bits of onion and meat over and over again is a particularly unpleasant chore. That is exactly what the Grillbot was made for. For $129.95, the Grillbot, equipped with three rust-proof steel brushes, will scrub out and remove all the dirt, and give you back a clean and shiny barbecue grill.
7. Guard the house
The problem with most home security systems is that they require the installation of a sensor and camera in every room. The new generation of robot home security guards aims to change that. The Snov WiFi Family Robot model ($229.99), for example, contains a 720p camera, circulates throughout the house, and can even be controlled with a smartphone. In the future, more advanced robot helpers, such as the ASUS Zenbo and the Segway robot, may also be able to patrol around the house and guard it.
8. Remember “things”
Models such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Jibo, and those like them may be fixed in one place, but they represent the type of robot helpers that will be especially common in our homes in the coming decade. They will help us look online and schedule (and remember) meetings, connect home appliances with each other, and even entertain us, all according to our verbal instructions.
9. Carry the shopping cart
As the population ages, robot helpers will perform tasks for us that we can no longer do ourselves. The Budgee Bot robot helper ($1,700) functions as a smart shopping cart, follows the user (through a wireless remote control), and carries things for us. This robot helper is capable of carrying up to 49 pounds and moving at a speed of 2.3 miles per hour for 10 hours between one recharging and another.
10. Carry the suitcase
In the future, robots will be everywhere. If the Olive Robotics company has its way, you will not even have to carry your suitcase when you go on vacation. The company makes a smart suitcase that uses a 3D camera to follow its owner, and will also send a warning if it is left behind by mistake. Furthermore, with the help of GPS technology, the suitcase can be followed anywhere in the world — even if you come home and your suitcase has not.
11. Sing songs and tell stories before bedtime
The ASUS robot with an “Intel brain,” which is being developed in Israel, made an enormous media splash at the recent Computex Exhibition in Taiwan. The robot can do quite a few things, including help family members with recipes and warn that a burglar is coming. One of its apps, however, which especially charmed many people at the exhibition, entertains a child by reading a story to them.
The views expressed are of the author.
Geektime invites global tech and startup professionals to share their opinions and expertise with our readers. If you would like to share your point of view, please contact us at [email protected]