As developments in technology have gone from strength to strength, we often hear many say ‘robots are going to take over the world’. Although this may seem cliche, the truth is, they might just and sooner than we had once thought.
The production of robotics has excelled over the past few years, and we have seen an increase in the number of robots replacing mundane human tasks in and outside of the working environment.
(Source- Robotics and Automation News)
In the workplace, AI is changing the relationship between people and technology. A survey carried out by Oracle found that 64% of people have more trust in robots than their own managers. This is thanks to AI, which has more than 50% of workers currently using technology worldwide.
Amazon is a great example of how robots have transformed the workplace, relying less on humans to conduct tasks due to new specialized technology which is more efficient and reliable. From the graph below we can see which countries installed the most amount of working robots in 2019. South Korea is by far the biggest user of robotics which shows an obvious demand.
Since the1990s, home robots have existed, and one of the earliest examples of this was the Electrolux robot cleaner. Since then, we have seen an array of robotics produced to help humans with a range of domestic tasks, some of which we will explore below.
However, the increase in virtual assistance such as Alexa and Siri and their connection to the IoT could be taking robotics in a new direction which can provide companionship while being able to carry out humanly tasks.
For countries such as Singapore who have a labour shortage due to its rapidly ageing population and lack of skills and so, robots have helped fill a gap in the labour market. It is believed that more than 100 fully autonomous cleaning robots that also tell jokes are being used in Singapore to help cleaning staff in public places such as National Galleries.
The robots are thought to help human staff by doing the more mundane and dangerous tasks. Although they do not take lunch breaks, they do need to be changed every three hours. Public response to the robots have proved to be very positive with some even considering having their very own robot in their home, and here are some options.
Mykie the Kitchen Sous-Chef
Bosh has developed a countertop robot that acts as a kitchen assistant. The robot has smart speakers and can be asked questions via voice controls, even non-kitchen related queries such as the weather. Mykie can also be connected to other Bosh appliances such as ovens and dishwashers, controlling them for you, making preheating the oven a piece of cake.
The main goal of the countertop robot is to help users cook by searching for recipes with voice commands or using the device’s control screen to scroll through. Mykie then projects videos of the recipe being prepared onto the kitchen wall with voice-controlled pause and play. The smart device can also inspire users of dishes to create by recommending recipes based on the ingredients in the fridge, and it also orders missing ingredients online.
Wheel me Robot Wheels
Moving furniture in and around the home can be a back-breaking task and dangerous for some groups of people such as the elderly. A Norwegian startup has developed a product they call Genius robotic wheels are known as Wheel.me. The wheels can attach to the base of a table and chair legs and other furniture, making them easy to rearrange via voice command.
The smart wheels are connected via the internet and can be commanded to move via not only voice control but also a smartphone app or even remotely. Although they are in the prototype stage at the moment, the wheels have sensor detection for obstacles which means they won’t crash into anything. Moving forward, the vision is to help create a smart home which can be life-changing for individuals who suffer from immobility.
Walker Humanoid Robot
Walker, by Ubtrobot is an intelligent robot that aims to make life smarter and more convenient. It is an agile bipedal humanoid robot that is super intelligent. The robot is about 1.45 meters tall and has the ability to interact with people. The robot can also walk smoothly around a home setting and is able to grasp and manipulate objects.
The Walker bot can detect and recognize corresponding faces which makes them great as assistance in the home, especially for the elderly who are unable to open doors to relatives. Users will be able to communicate with Walker through text, voice and facial expressions.
Looking forward into the future with the technology we have today provides an insight into how different and connected the future may be. Robots, in some ways, still have a long way to go, but the robots explored in this article proves how far they and their technology has come.