Friday, January 29, 2010

The Working Robot

As you all know, one of the main purposes of robots is to allow lazy humans not to do certain chores. Yes, there are educational robots and toy robots and pet robots, and robots designed to further our understanding of brain functions, but most robots are servants. I'm okay with this. As long as they stay servants, and stay incapable of higher reasoning, the robot uprising can be avoided.

The first servant-bots that come to mind are the Roomba and its siblings. The Roomba came out in 2002, and since then several other companies have made robot vacuums of their own. Samsung has not two, but three*, and Neato Robotics has one** too, with laser vision! Asus has one with an antibacterial UV beam and a really pretty case***. But they're not the only bots with household duties. Panisonic has one to wash dishes**** and some other medically-based ones (see video below). You can build an alarm clock that runs away from you***** (click the link, there are videos). There are also robotic maids†, robots that cook††, and robots that mix drinks†††.

Speaking of medical robots, there seems to be something of an explosion of the suckers. Hospitals can get robots to treat depression††††, conduct virtual autopsies†††††, and check vital signs

Let's not forget the office! Toyota has built a delivery robot‡‡, Subaru has a robot janitor ‡‡‡(pdf link), and there is a robot workspace wall‡‡‡‡.

Other uses for robots in the work place include:

There are more robots here. For coverage of what happens when all work is done by robots, go here.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say we'll see at least two-thirds of these bots in common use by 2020. Woohoo future!

* Engadget three times
** Also Engadget
*** Gizmodo
**** Engadget
***** Gizmodo
† all links via io9
†† Engadget
††† Gizmodo
†††† Gizmodo
††††† Gizmodo
‡‡ Gizmodo
‡‡‡ Engadget
‡‡‡‡ Gizmodo
‡‡‡‡‡ Gizmodo
* Gizmodo
** Gizmodo
*** Engadget
**** Gizmodo


Anonymous said...

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has been using golf-cart style robots to deliver the mail since they opened there new building in the early 90s. I'm surprised we have not seem more robots by now actually.

Anassa said...

I'm surprised as well. We obviously have the technology. I'm assuming it's some kind of money issue and we'll start seeing them soon, once costs drop.