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Home News Robots everywhere: Army of single-purpose ‘bots get household chores done

Robots everywhere: Army of single-purpose ‘bots get household chores done

For decades, science fiction has been promising a future filled with robots performing all of our mundane daily tasks for us. From Rosie the maid on The Jetsons to C-3PO in the Star Wars films, we’ve all pictured a day when we won’t have to lift a finger, but instead are surrounded by all manner of cyborg butlers and servants to do the things around the house we don’t want to do ourselves.

Unfortunately, we still don’t live in the age of the one-size-fits-all robot servant. Instead, we have a smaller army of single-purpose robotic aids that can perform all sorts of specific tasks, from vacuuming our floors to mowing our lawns. But even those are still fairly basic. The problem is that even the most mundane household task, from dishwashing to taking out the trash, contains myriad individual tasks that today’s robots simply can’t handle.

The problem is that while household chores are fairly easy for us humans, they still require a ton of little skills like spatial reasoning and fine motor control, which takes extremely advanced programming. Think about making coffee, for example. How would you program a robot to do that? The act of making coffee may be simple, but programming a machine to understand what a kitchen is, the difference between appliances, where the coffee is stored in the cupboard, grabbing and scooping out the coffee — it all is wildly complex from a programming standpoint.

While we already have robotic vacuums, mops, mowers, window cleaners, sanitizers, and more, none of them have quite reached the heights of those promised movie robots; instead, we have multiple robots that serve specific purposes. But here’s the exiting part: With the advancement of A.I., we can program those individual robots to work together. With the advent of voice assistants like Alexa, we can now control the individual robots through one robot, creating a single point to guide the tiny army of individual robots around the house to complete the tasks instead of waiting for that futuristic robot butler. The homes of the future won’t have one butler ‘bot, but will instead have robots everywhere.

For more Robots Everywhere check out the series on YouTube. Also read about the Aigency, a robot talent agency!

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Google Pixel 4a pre-orders go live with August 20 availability

Google’s newest phone, the Pixel 4a, is finally available for pre-order. Having blown by its expected May launch, the handset arrives with a wallet-friendly $350 price tag.When much of the fanfare and advertising for phones tends to center around flagships and devices approaching $1,000, Google’s latest is a fraction of the price. Nevertheless, it still has more than enough hardware and modern software to satisfy the needs of the masses.At just $350, the Pixel 4a runs Android 10 and largely features the same camera experience that’s found in the Pixel 4. Moreover, it also has a headphone jack and a bigger battery than the standard model.Android 105.81-inch FHD+ displayQualcomm Snapdragon 730 processor6GB RAM128GB storage12.2-megapixel dual-pixel rear camera8-megapixel wide-angle camera3140mAh battery3.5mm audio jackAs to why the Pixel 4a is less than half the price of the Pixel 4, there are plenty of reasons. It’s just up to the buyer to determine whether it’s worth spending the extra money.With that said, the Pixel 4a does not have wireless charging, nor does it have the soft-touch glass back and water resistant protection. Instead it has a polycarbonate body to keep price down.AvailabilityThe Pixel 4a is available for pre-order in the US at Google Store and on Google Fi where it can be purchased unlocked at just $350. It will be more widely available to customers on August 20 through the Google Store, Best Buy, Amazon, and more. Additionally, US carriers will offer the phone, including Google Fi, US Cellular, and Verizon.Customers who purchase the Pixel 4a receive three month free trials of YouTube Premium, Google Play Pass and Google One.Interestingly enough, the Google Pixel 4a appears to be offered in black only through Google’s online store. Other colors expected in the lead-up to announcement included white and blue. Perhaps various carriers and retailers will have different options.

Google begins dropping details on Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5

Today might be the official arrival of the Google Pixel 4a, but that doesn’t mean Google isn’t already looking to the horizon. Indeed, Google is ready to share details about the next few models in the pipeline.According to Google, the Pixel 4a (5G) and the Pixel 5 will arrive “this fall” and both will feature 5G connectivity. Moreover, Google is already sharing its expected price for the former, putting it at just $499.Whether the true difference between the standard 4a and the 5G-ready version is 5G support remains unclear.Google often debuts its flagship Pixel phones in October, and that would definitely fit in thethis fall” timeline. However, with the ongoing pandemic, and the fact that the Pixel 4a arrived nearly three months later than expected, it’s hard to say for sure.As Google tells us both the Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 will be available in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia.If you’re interested in learning more about either of these phones, you can sign up to receive updates.

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