Robots has been slowly invading in almost every field. Likewise, they are slowly invading our homes for several years. The Roombas vacuum cleaners and countless brands of autonomous lawn mowers have taken on aspects of the domestic load for some time, but there’s still a sense that we are only just getting started.
At Consumer Electronic Show 2017, which is the year’s biggest tech show and harbinger of future trends, there were even robots designed for cleaning windows, which everyone knows is the most arduous and thankless task of all.
“The cleaning robots are in full force at CES 2017, and they are not just the floor cleaners as we know them. There were window cleaners too!” Jean-Marc Frangos, BT’s Managing Director of External Innovation, who observed some of the developments in robotics at this year’s show in Las Vegas, has said.
Food for thought:
Things are also moving along rapidly, outside the home. For example, the App-driven food delivery service just Eat recently has announced it is using robots to carry out deliveries to customers’ doors in the Greenwich area. However, this service is expected to roll out to other areas around the capital and across the UK in due course.
Beyond performing our choices and handling deliveries, robots also have a part to play in the classrooms of the future. Last year’s 2016s MIT’s Personal Robotics Group debuted an “affective computing” social robot, has been designed for helping pre-school aged children learn a second language. ‘Tega’ used facial recognition for responding to the emotions of the children, adjusting the teaching techniques accordingly.
The robots that are designed for educational purpose may also target more advanced learners. The same affective computing techniques will soon be online programmes. The facial recognition techniques can also be used for shaking things up when students look bored or unmotivated.
A report on the future impact of tech on education in Australian tertiary education said: “Software technology will literally learn to learn, interpreting and responding to learners’ most nuanced gestures and emotions – whether –hey are feeling bored, intimated or satisfied”.
A Nanny in a smart speaker:
As of now, the most immediate growth area is none other than our homes. Chinese firm Ubtech Robotics have launched Lynx, a robot for home complete with the Alexa assistant found in the Amazon Echo range. It can dance, tell you the weather and even teach yoga.
Kuri, who is from Mayfield Robotics can send you photos of your pets while you are out, respond to questions, play music while following you around the house and even takes a role in parenting by reading the kids’ bedtime stories.
Additionally, Aristole from Mattel takes nannying a step further. It also has Amazon Alexa AI, built in, but with added language processing tech that can discern pronunciation from younger users. It can soothe crying kids, play them a song, act as a nightlight and even has an in-built baby monitor camera
Science fiction becoming science fact:
In Robotics field, greater, farther-reaching advancements are being made. These are robots made for home, streets, and classroom purposes. Google-owned Boston Robotics, which is previously a former military contractor for the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency in United States, is one of the companies pioneering these efforts.
In the month of February, 2016 the company has posted videos of its remarkable and frankly terrifying humanoid bipedal Atlas. It is designed for handling tricky terrain and for carrying out tasks such as lifting and carrying boxes. In the video, robot also withstood bullying from engineers at the company. When the machines rise, as they do in the science fiction films of your nightmares, thes guys have a lot to answer for.
“We expected it to turn around and blast that guy with a laser beam,” Ken Goldberg, a robotics professor at UC Berkeley told Wired. If that wasn’t scary enough, then just this month Boston Dynamics debuted Handle, a 6 ft 5 in tall robot with both wheels and legs. It can glide around like a roller-blader at the speed of 9 mph and it can even make four foot vehicle leaps over obstacles. Perhaps robots like these should remain in the labs and in our nightmares for the time being.