Robots have been around a long time. They've been building cars, putting out fires, assisting police, working with the military, and doing 1,001 other tasks that are either repetitive or dangerous. yet most people have never interacted with robots except for childhood toys.
For almost 40 years, futurists have promised that personal robots are just around the corner. Like flat screen TVs they promised that household robots were just 5 years way. They'd predict that every five years or so,
But one day people awoke and flat screen TVs had arrived...and the same is true of personal robots. The general public hasn't realized it yet.
The real robot revolution is here
Robots are being sold that walk dogs, trim lawns, clean gutters, and wash floors. But those little mechanical helpers are about to be overshadowed by the next generation of personal robots: mechanical men designed to multitask.
A functional, sturdy housecleaning robot with no personality that cleans floors. Cleaning floors is really all it does, but it accomplishes it exceptionally well. Without any anthropomorphic features the designers are looking strictly at getting the job done and are wary of some human psychology that a machine that too closely resembles a human may be threatening.
This robot is directly competitive with the line of machines available from iRobot, a pioneer in the personal robotics industry.
Panasonic's kitchen assistance robot (KAR)
A prototype that accomplishes one of the most delicate, difficult household tasks: washing the dishes.
Never thought of how difficult a job it was when your mom told you to do it as a kid, did you? Well...maybe you did.
This remarkable robot has 23 sensors strategically placed in its hand. A built-in camera helps the robot's mechanical brain to distinguish between forks, glasses and dishes.
Toyota's house cleaning robot, AR
(See photo at top of article.)
A new robot developed by the University of Tokyo and Toyota Motor Corp., able to collect the washing and move furniture for cleaning, is being touted as the first step towards a robotic domestic helper.