By: Snethemba Ngcobo
Some of us might find the idea of Robots that speak and move independently a bit strange but none of us can deny that interactive AI is more of a commodity than ever. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas, over a dozen firms were promoting new kinds of domestic robots.
Some of the most popular were South Koreas Furo-I Home which is a sensor laden cone on wheels topped by a tablet that displays a friendly looking animated face. The robot can be given verbal commands allowing it to take control of internet controlled devices, so you can tell it to turn lights on and off, control music or the central heating in your house. Another popular droid was the Ukranian Branto, this robots most loved feature would have to be that it can send a notification to you if the motion sensor is triggered while your house is supposed to be empty, the only problem is that the prototypes battery only lasts for three hours before it stops providing most functions which indicates that you should keep your old alarm system for now.
Even though the aim for most robotics companies is to make robots as independent and as interactive as possible, the most highly retailing robots are those that help with everyday mundane tasks. The Roomba does the vacuuming by sizing up the room then sucks up all the dirt as it slides up and down the length and breadth of it, it can also be scheduled to clean during certain days and times. The Looj by i-Robot cleans gutters and there is even a Robot that picks up kitty litter for you.
Cleaning is not where it ends some of the Robots being manufactured can pacify babies, do health checks on the elderly and monitor their vitals, others like Honda’s Asimo have the ability to recognize faces and serve drinks. We can expect an increase in home robots and even if you’re not ready for them to take care of your loved ones our nature of laziness as a society is propelling the creation and purchase of mechanics that make our lives easier, so get ready to be served by Asimo at your friends next braai.