Household robots and robot servants: expectations and reality


2018-12-17 16:45:15




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Household robots and robot servants: expectations and reality

Every year, just for a few days in a large city, a small team of enthusiasts following his dream in life: eating at home robot waiters and butlers. In a carefully constructed replicas of the scenes of the restaurant or home environment, these robots perform a set of simple algorithmic task. "Take a jar of beans off the shelf. Greet visitors to the Museum. Help people with their purchases. Serve customers in the restaurant." Is Robocup @ Home, an annual tournament in which teams of enthusiasts put their Autonomous service robots to the test in practical household applications.

The Tasks seem simple and routine, but it turns out that this is not so.


Competition among robots-waiters

Suppose you want a robot bought groceries at the supermarket. In a crowded, noisy environment the robot needs to understand your team, to seek clarification, to map and navigate in an unfamiliar environment, while avoiding obstacles and people. Then it needs to identify your requested product, perhaps in the confusion or unknown orientation. It needs to properly take this product — do not forget that there are competitions for millions of dollars on the development of robots capable of grabbing a series of objects and then pass it on to you.

This work seems simple, because it can make even a child. But for intelligent robotics is a complex task, on which they fight for weeks, programming and designing, and still can't make even simple algorithms execution. The child has the advantage of millions of years of evolutionary research and development, and the first robots that have taken over these tasks, appeared only in the 1970-ies.

With all this, Robocup @ Home can become a place where the expectations of the futurists confronted with the reality of technology. People dream of a ridiculous JARVIS with a soft voice, which already has prepared your favorite dinner when you're back, and you shout "don't forget about the cookies" until this clumsy droid goes to the fifth register.


elderly Care

It is Known that Japan is one of the most friendly robots countries in the world; it is a country that surprised everyone with ASIMO in 2000. On the theme of love Japan to robots several studies have been conducted. Not surprisingly, humanoid robotics are seriously considering as a solution to the crisis of aging population. The Japanese government has already invested $ 44 million in the development of such.

Human Support Robot (HSR-2) from Toyota is a simple but programmable robot with one hand. It can be remotely controlled to pick up objects and observe the patients. HSR-2 became the robot by default for use in tournaments Robocup @ Home, at least in tasks related to the manipulation of objects.

Along with this, Toyota has been working on exoskeletons that help people walk after stroke. You might be surprised to know that nurses suffer from back injuries more than people in any other profession, is about three times more frequently than builders, because of the daily lifting of patients. Toyota has a robot/exoskeleton Care Assist is designed to handle exactly this problem and assist workers in lifting heavy loads.


Building the future

The Enthusiasm for robotic systems easy to understand. In fact, many startups are already selling robots as household helpers in one form or another. Overall, however, they avoid the extremely difficult task of creating a fully capable humanoid robot — task, which refused to even Google Department.

It is Clear why: we need much more research and development in order for these home robots can be used safely and at a reasonable price. Consumers with expectations, inflated by years of saturation of science fiction may be disappointed if the robots will not be able to perform basic tasks.

Instead, attempts to create domestic robots fall into one of two categories. There are robots specialized in performing household tasks, like the Roomba from iRobot, which has become a cleaner and remains the most successful home robot to this day.

These tasks don't necessarily have to be simple, cool and expensive auto cooking uses the best hands in the world for cooking, provided that she can recognize the ingredients. Other robots focus on human interaction with the robot, for example, Jibo: they essentially combine the abilities of the voice assistant, such as Siri, Cortana or Alexa, answer simple questions and perform online tasks in a friendly, dynamic environment of the robot.

So the future of home automation is starting to look more like the smart home, rather than robots or servants. The total complex robotics as well as General artificial intelligence; to compete with people, the greatest station wagons, very difficult. However, achieving extraordinary efficiency in private job it is possible.

Private startups without the financial power of Google or Amazon can develop specialized robots, such as robot Laundry from Seven Dreamers, and hope that one day they will be part of a network of Autonomous robots, each of which will play a role in the household.


Home Paradise

has become a cliché expectations of futurists for a long time, since the films with the participation of smart homes is out of control and created a cliché. But critics of the idea of the smart home and Internet of things in General — tend to start from the idea thatmore often than not, the software imposes an extra layer of things that can break, in exchange for a minimal convenience. A toaster that can short-circuit, is bad enough, but a toaster that refuses to do you toast, because it is updated, it is generally something with something.

And that's we're not talking about security problems and vulnerabilities that play a particularly important role, if the device is plugged in your home to work with him. Smart watches that monitor your children, can seem a sensible idea smart parent. Smart watch that can be hacked to monitor their children, to listen to what they say, and even to deceive them — this scenario is similar to a nightmare parent.

The Key to many of these problems is the lack of standardization of security protocols, and even the products themselves. The idea that dozens of startups will be to develop highly specialized robotics to perform one task, in theory it sounds great, until you realize the potential dangers and pitfalls when dozens of incompatible devices will work together in one system.

It Seems obvious that there are many layers of heavy home-work that could be automated. Especially since for decades we had the opportunity to enjoy an economical machine, dishwasher and vacuum cleaner. The upcoming market for automated home appliances (which in some sense represented by robots) promises evaluated in billions and trillions of dollars.

What kind of robot would not hurt for you personally? Tell us in our


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