Home Health Domestic robotics to come

Domestic robotics to come

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Amazon recently unveiled its new home robot, it’s called Astro and costs around $ 1000. It goes around the house observing what happens, reacts to voice commands and performs small tasks, especially observation and control, but can also carry small objects up to a maximum of two kilos.

It does not have a real arm, so it cannot physically interact with the surrounding environment, but it has numerous cameras and one of these is equipped with a telescopic arm that allows you to change the observation point.

In a certain sense it is “nice”, on its 10 “touch display are in fact shown shapes that are very reminiscent of stylized human eyes, therefore able to convey a certain degree of emotion and trigger a minimum of empathy.

Small devices like this represent only the beginning of the new era of domestic robotics, in which it is expected that in the near future machines of various types, including anthropomorphic ones, will gradually find a space in our daily life, to help us in the care of our homes. of our families and ourselves. On closer inspection, in our homes we already have a certain number of machines and robots available, ranging from washing machines, dishwashers, blenders, up to what are called, in fact, kitchen robots. The latter are sometimes in fact highly complex machines capable of performing, even independently, a large number of tasks and functions. And this is exactly what is sought, in general terms, in robotics: autonomy. We have a dishwasher, but in reality we would like a machine that is completely able to clear the table, wash all the dishes, put them inside the furniture and leave everything clean. We have a washing machine, but in reality we would like a fully automatic machine able to take the dirty clothes, wash them, dry them, iron them and put them in the right cabinets, also making sure to correctly identify the owners in order to give each his own clothes. clothing. We have robots that vacuum the floor fairly thoroughly, but we actually want machines that can keep the whole house clean, including glass, bathrooms, chandeliers, and the inside of furniture. The high complexity and variety of these tasks makes it really difficult to build a robot capable of taking care of them totally and in complete autonomy, but this is only a technological issue that will soon be overcome thanks to the increase in the capabilities of the individual technologies and the ‘increased impact of these technologies on our lives.

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It is therefore to be expected, for the near future, that machines will be put on the market more and more complex and able to perform increasingly difficult tasks, not predetermined and dependent on experience and surrounding conditions. These will be machines equipped with a very sophisticated robotic component, able to move freely in our homes, even if the premises are on different floors. They will be able to carry out the tasks assigned to them thanks to the use of connectivity, sensors and artificial intelligence. There is no doubt, in fact, that we will have to be faced with constantly connected machines, equipped with sophisticated sensors capable of correctly identifying the objects on which to operate and with the ability, provided by artificial intelligence algorithms, to treat them in the correct way, without damaging them and without hurting the human beings they encounter as they move around the house. The mechanical component will obviously be fundamental to make these machines sufficiently small, agile and inexpensive, but the real added value will be given by the artificial intelligence algorithms that will be able to recognize the objects and determine what it is, at that precise moment and in those precise conditions, the best way to treat them.

It will not be an easy transition, years of attempts await us, broken plates and glasses placed in the linen drawers, but the road is drawn and the idea of ​​a generalist robot able to take care of our home is here to stay and his marketing is just a matter of time. Initially we will have specialized machines on single vertical tasks, but over time these specializations will become more and more nuanced and our domestic machines will begin to know how to do more and more things, to perform more and more tasks and will know how to do it better and better.

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In some cases they will be anthropomorphic machines and this could generate some relationship problems for us, sometimes we could lose sight of the fact that we are talking to a machine (albeit with a simulated conscience) and this could introduce a new class of ethical, social problems. and relationship.

But we are only at the beginning, the path of domestic robotics has been traced and, most likely, our life will change, again, for the better.

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