In today’s world, humans are still putting a tremendous amount of effort into freeing us from the menial tasks we would rather not tackle regularly. With the advent of servo-mechanisms allowing robots to follow direction with precision or instantly correct any mistake or misstep, it is only a matter of time before many of the professions and the tasks we’ve kept in the human spectrum for centuries become simplified to the point of a robot doing it much more efficiently than any human body or mind could conceive. This rapid change in robotics, riding on the coattails of the ongoing revolutions in personal and mobile computing, is most evident in the home.
Though robotics are generally seen as a technology that is advancing for the sake of commercial, industrial and military use, the applications for this technology in our homes are still quite relevant and more necessary than ever. Read on for a few examples of how an automated, intelligent machine can make your daily life easier.
The Robomow RS is one of those many devices that make you throw your hands up in surprise, wondering why this was not funded and released on a wide scale earlier. Growing up in New Jersey, I can easily identify with the annoyance of maintaining a perfect lawn in my parents’ neighborhood (and the fines associated with neglecting to do so). Especially when nature is your own worst enemy and you are allergic to tree pollen. Just like many devices Ron Popeil has hawked to us on early morning infomercials, you can simply set the Robomow to perform It’s task and leave it be until it has finished. The Robomow can use sensors to detect moisture and humidity and alter it’s behaviors based on the data it collects. It also can be set to mow specific zones of your lawn, turn off as soon as it it lifted at an angle and can independently enter and leave it’s base charging station. Remember the “World of Tomorrow” from the 60’s? One of its brainchildren has arrived.
Let’s move onto something that does not perform a household service, but it quite practical in form and function.
Kibo is less of a service robot and entirely a learning robot for small children. Designed for ages 4 and up, children will be able to customize and construct a two-wheeled robot that will be capable of carrying out commands given to it through some colorful wooden blocks. These blocks are printed with bar codes that are entered (or scanned) in sequence. While very simplistic, this can be considered a sign that toys will become as digitized as every other once-analog device has become, or is becoming. Given how computers will steadily become more and more ubiquitous with our lives, it only figures that we entertain our children with toys that reflect that. Consider it the evolution of LEGO, K’Nex and Erector sets.
Lets face it, cleaning a litter box is the most unpleasant task of owning a cat. Though contained boxes and improved formulas in litter that dissipate the odor, it is still an egregious task to empty the contents after a week. Enter the Litter-Robot, which aims to reduce the human intervention of this task as much as possible while keeping the room it is stationed within fresh. It is equipped with a built in sensor that knows when your cat has made use of the device, then using the built-in tray to roll around the contents, sifting them into a waste tray for very quick and easy disposal. It also eliminates the need for surgical cleaning, as it will dump the waste into liners that quickly wrap up once detached. The carbon filters also keep any odor out of the area, along this to be stored generally anywhere, eliminating the need to store the device strategically out of the way.