Introduction to robotics

By | 4 minute read | June 30, 2016

Robotics in the home

Today, robots live among us. Recent technological advancements have brought robotics out of the science fiction novel and into our living rooms. While this might seem frightening to some, robots are here to help. Inventors and businessmen have been creating innovative solutions to problems for generations. From the lightbulb to email, we have been solving our issues as they come. As our lives and problems increase in complexity, so do our solutions. The introduction of robotics in everyday life marks an exciting time in human history. We have achieved goals that we never dreamt were possible.

What do robots even do?

Today’s robots solve everyday problems and serve as helpers to humans. These robots are not the sentient stuff of sci-fi horror movies, but rather simple machines designed to perform a set of functions. These functions may be straightforward —like wake me up in the morning, or complex—pour me the perfect cocktail. The amazing thing about robots, and the people that make them, is that they have been designed to master one, or a couple, tasks. Robots are well equipped to preform repetitive skills, such as pick up a pipe, and place it into another machine. In this way, robots have become invaluable tools on production lines. In fact, they have earned themselves a nickname: co-bots. Robots are not intended to replace workers, but serve as assistance devices Production companies are transitioning to the implementation of co-bots to protect the safety and comfort of their workers by saving them from repetitive tasks. Prior to robotics, companies implemented other machines to complete these processes. Robots in production do the easy tasks so that human workers can focus their time and energy on more complex tasks.

Invite a robot into your home

Robots are helping in the home as well. There are devices available today to mow your lawn, vacuum your floor, even scoop your cat’s litterbox. These robots were designed to complete tasks that humans had no desire to do themselves.

The goal of introducing robots into your home is to free up your time, by delegating unpleasant tasks to someone, or some-bot, that can do it for you. One great, and popular, example is iRobot’s Roomba. The Roomba, and subsequent products were created to clean your floors. The newest generation of Roomba uses sensors to make a digital map of your home. It then knows where it has been, and where it still needs to clean. By having a robot vacuum your floors for you, you can be free to do other things.

Inventors have designed more fun and social robots as well. One robot, ConnectR lets a user video chat more naturally, and remotely. Using ConnectR, the user can remote control the device to change camera angles and even track a moving person. For example, a user can sign into ConnectR from work and “drive” it around their house to check on their dog or cat.

Jibo is a robot designed to help you with a range of tasks. Jibo connects to your calendar and other devices as well as the internet in order to act as a personal assistant. Jibo uses artificial intelligence technology to learn your habits and serve you accordingly. Jibo also uses emotions to react and relate more effectively. Above all, Jibo is pretty cute. You can check him out for yourself below.

Service with a smile

Carnival Cruises is utilizing robotics to spark creativity in their guests. Carnival’s robotic bartenders allow guests to customize drinks for the perfect cocktail. Users input their order on a tablet and the robot shakes up the drink to their exact specifications. Not only do the robots craft delicious cocktails, but they also provide guests with hours of entertainment!

Hilton Hotels is implementing robots to assist with their customer service experiences. Connie is a concierge robot who interacts with guests and answers their questions in a friendly and helpful manner. The more guests that Connie interacts with, the more she learns about how to assist customers. Connie utilizes IBM Watson technologies to understand natural speech and provide guests with a comprehensive view of local attractions. Currently, Connie is only working at the Hilton hotel in McLean, Virginia.

These sorts of social robots can help families, busy workers, and anyone on the go, to stay organized. Social helping robots can provide a lot of the same assistance as a secretary, but in the home sector. With the help of robots, we can all lead smarter, more efficient lives. Give robots a chance, they are here to help!

Tell us what you think about robotics, and what benefits a robot could bring to your life.