Thursday, June 29, 2017
I remember the robot from Lost in Space and Rosie the maid on the Jetsons. Over the decades there have been promises of robot helpers and companions being just around the corner. The few that were introduced were clunky and expensive. Industrial robots have flourished. I recall that field in it's infancy in the early 1980's with the development of industrial machines that can be programmed to do multiple jobs. Robots differ from automation, in that robots are not built to perform only one task in only one way. Industrial robots can multitask.
Finally we are seeing home automation and home robots start to emerge. There are programmable floor sweepers, that can be perform multiple cleaning tasks and learn their way around the space (I should buy one of these, I am not a good housekeeper.) Voice activated technology is available to do a variety of functions. Self driving cars are getting closer daily use every day.
I think we got it wrong on the early robots. Vainly we tried to make robots look and function like humans, or dogs. The floor sweepers look nothing like Rosie, but they certainly do the job. Alexa looks nothing like me, but she can find and play music faster than I can, or reorder yeast from Amazon faster than I can - heaven only knows what I am going to do with four pounds of yeast. Bake a lot of bread I guess. Maybe there is a little work to be done on that one.
Personally I look forward to house cleaning robots, and self driving cars.
What do you wish a robot could do for you?