By Will Reed
Much as machines augmented and replaced some of the necessary home cleaning and management tasks in the 19th and 20th centuries (think the creation of the washing machine, refrigerator, fan, and vacuum cleaner), so robots are poised to become the helpers of the 21st century. But technology is catching up. Here, some of the robots which were presented at the GBK Gift Lounge for the Academy Awards in Los Angeles and CES 2019 and will soon be at a home near you!
The Roomba i7+ is probably the most sophisticated robot vacuum cleaner available today, boasting a docking station which not only enables the vacuum to recharge but also disposes of dirt into a bag. The vacuum also has sophisticated navigation and mapping technology which allows it to detect rooms and for the user to set a recurring schedule room by room. The Roomba also has three cleaning modes enabling it to handle various floor surfaces (hardwood, carpet, etc.) and at a little under 4 inches in height, the Roomba can clean under the sofa for eternity. Info: irobot.com.
Husqvarna—better known for their Swedish old-school axes and chainsaws—have come to the rescue and developed a robot to manage that age-old task of mowing the lawn. The Husqvarna Automower can be controlled by a phone app as well as voice command via Amazon Alexa to mow your lawn as required; when low on power it will return to the unit to recharge itself. The Automower can also aid lawn development as it cuts the blades of grass a little at a time enabling the clippings to fertilize the soil—translating into more time to work on the golf swing. Info: husqvarna.com.
One of the older home-orientated robots celebrating its 20th anniversary this year is Sony’s Aibo a robotic pet dog. While this seems a nonsensical idea, imagine it as being ideal for a child who suffers from severe allergies or an individual for whom the tasks of keeping a pet are difficult, or too time-consuming. The latest iteration of the Aibo has an array of touch sensors to react to being stroked as well as sensors for detecting its interaction with objects. The Aibo also learns by recording and uploading its activities each day to the Cloud. The Aibo also has toys which can be used to interact with it or watch it play with independently. Info: us.aibo.com.
The Social Robot
Unlike Temi, Jibo does not move about. However, Jibo does listen, identify and respond to sixteen different voices enabling control of the ever-expanding connected home. Think of Jibo as Alexa with a huge personality. One of the core elements of Jibo is the morning report which can provide you with the weather, traffic, and news according to your preferences. Info: jibo.com.
The Personal Robot
Debuting at the GBK Oscar Gift Lounge 2019, the Temi The Personal Robot incorporates the use of Amazon’s Alexa with a highly sophisticated indoor navigation system which enables hands-free video calls and more. Temi can follow its user about the home or office and aims to put voice control and interaction alongside the user as well as enabling a user to be at two places at once. Temi’s tray can wirelessly charge a phone or be used to deliver small objects. Awarded best robot of CES 2019 Temi brings distant family members or employees closer together. Info: robotemi.com.