Domestic robots, meaning robots designed for use in the home, are no longer the stuff of dreams. They are here already. These days home owners can purchase robots that will mow lawns, vacuum floors, wash windows, or even turn your iPhone into a robot.
Must have robots
These days home owners can purchase robots, albeit it a price, to complete a variety of household tasks:
PCWorld’s Christina DesMarais had a look at Gostai’s Jazz Security robot. This smart little machine can detect movement and intruders via its wide angle camera which comes with night vision. It can film videos of suspicious activities and alert you via email or text. Users can even set it on a timer.
Autom is a personal trainer who happens to be a robot. Autom tracks your progress, gives feedback and can adapt her responses to keep you on track.
The Huffington Post reported on Ecovac’s Winbot Series 7 which uses suction pads to hold to sticks itself to windows while it cleans them (whether on the inside or outside). The Winbot even has a squeegee that wipes away debris and extra moisture.
The Litter-Robot II is any cat owner’s dream come through; it’s a self cleaning litter box. Basically it automatically filters any clumps into a receptacle, which can be lined with a normal bin liner. The liner itself will need to be swapped about once a week. According to PC World the robot is selling for $340.
When it comes to vacuuming Mashable believes that the Neato XV-11 stands head and shoulders above the rest. With a $399.99 price tag the Neato is able to map a room before selecting a route; meaning it doesn’t bump into cupboards etc. Apparently it’s also agile enough so as not to scratch furniture.
Mashable also took a look at the iRobot Looj 330, designed by the creators of Roomba, which will clean gutters unassisted. All it needs is to be placed in a gutter and switched on. It retails at $299.
Robots of the future
PC World took a closer look at Rosie and James, two PR2 robots which were jointly developed by the Technical University of Munich and Willow Garage. Apparently they can stove popcorn, make sandwiches and even cook sausages or bake pancakes.
What makes them truly second generation is that none of these actions are pre-programmed. James and Rosie are able to understand a task and break it down into various steps – in other words they can process instructions themselves.
The makers of Romeo have come up with the Robot Pal which they hope will be commercially available in the next few years. What makes the Pal so special? It will be able to open and close doors, grasp objects like glasses or bottles and assist people with movement. Oh, it will also be able to understand you and have basic conversations. Who says a dog’s a man’s best friend anymore?
Whilst not a geeky girl, London based blogger Pippa Green loves robots, especially when they can help out with housecleaning chores. She’s wondering when someone will finally create robotic steam mops to wash after the automatic vacuum cleaner is done.