The robot revolution is finally here. Domestic robots have been refined to the point where they are bona fide household helpers and homeowners are taking notice. The latest statistics from the International Federation of Robotics show that global sales of domestic service robots jumped by 24% in 2016, and even bigger increases are predicted for 2019.
Taking on the burden of repetitive household chores has been domestic robots’ main area of expertise over the last five years. Arguably the best home robot in this regard is the automated vacuum cleaner. This is a small, unassuming automaton that sits charging until its timer sends it off to hoover the house.
These helpers are much ahead of early designs that frequently clogged or lodged themselves in corners. New motors can help them be as much as twice as powerful as any predecessor or peer, while smart tech like on-board cameras allow true visual mapping for better obstacle avoidance.
Despite being amongst the first robots welcomed into our homes, these automated vacuum cleaners are no longer alone. Security robots are designed to patrol your corridors, keeping an eye on pets and children and ensuring any intruders are caught on their own security cameras. Many have a friendly look, too, so there’s no danger of scaring your little ones.
In the kitchen, brands are working on virtual assistants that can connect to the internet, finding and helping you to execute the perfect recipe. Some can control smart appliances like ovens and dishwashers.
Robots are appearing outside, too, because the garden is where some of the most physically demanding chores are found. Public bodies are already finding vast improvements in automated mowers, and top consumer models are already employing smart solutions to create healthy lawns, avoid unsightly clippings and even manage hills.
Gardening robots are perhaps on the verge of even further advancement than those found indoors: engineers are close to completing robots that can pick and pack sensitive fruits, and are even able to tell colours apart. When these make it to the consumer market, we’ll all be one step closer to the dream of starting a small orchard or vineyard.
As the boundaries blur and robots become more functional, it seems as though people are equally prepared to trust robots with more emotionally intense duties. Domestic robots are taking on active roles caring for the elderly in Japan, as both personal support and conversation partners. Additionally, AI pets are adept at keeping children company.
In response to growing demand, tech companies unveiled robots more versatile than ever before at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018. These included promising newcomers that can assist with mobility, while engaging empathetically with users. Expansive ideas like these are increasingly leading us to seek robots that can amalgamate multiple features, as opposed to employing a different one for each task that needs doing.
With improvements happening at a rapid rate, a fully connected home environment is moving closer to reality. If you’re ready to embrace these advances, now is the time to keep your eye on the latest home technology developments.