This robot butler will tackle all your household chores

The machine should be market-ready in the next few years.
Loukia Papadopoulos
An illustration of a robot butler.jpg
An illustration of a robot butler.


London-based Prosper Robotics, a startup founded by former OpenAI employee Shariq Hashme, is engineering a robot butler that may soon be able to tackle all your household chores.

This is according to an article by Sifted published this week.

The new machine will run on wheels and be equipped with two arms that can be raised up and down to tackle different jobs. “You'll go to work and they'll do everything in your home. You'll have a little time lapse on your app on your phone, showing you what they did,” said Hasme.

But bringing this robot to market is a challenge due to pricing. Today, the kinds of machines you find in high-tech factories often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and generally specialize in only one task.

“The biggest thing that you need to do differently to make a home robot realistic is the cost of a system, so that's kind of the most exciting thing we've done,” Hashme told Sifted.

The Prosper team has achieved this by addressing issues that most robotics engineers don’t bother thinking about such as engineering off-the-shelf electrical connectors work in a moving system.Thanks to this approach, Prosper is planning to price its robot butler for somewhere between £5k-10k ($6k to 12k).

In addition, Prosper will charge a monthly subscription fee for maintenance and insurance.

However, Hashme explained that full automation is still not on the horizon because not enough data exists to train a household robot on.

The firm plans to use human operators at the beginning of the robot’s deployment to counteract that issue.

“An operator would have to do the task for the first, say, 10k times,” Hashme said. “And then after that we have enough data to do it automatically.”

In terms of timelines, Hashme said his “first practical robot for the home” will hopefully be ready in around eight months to begin alpha testing and a few households have already signed up to be part of the process.

“We have about 20 people who are ready to go,” he said. Once that is done, he hopes to have a market-ready version of the robot in around two years. 

Finally, the founder also hopes to empower women through his robot.

“Housework falls disproportionately on women in a lot of places,” told Sifted Hashme. “If you actually have a robot that can take care of a significant portion of that, that could end up being a big tool to help them free up their time and be more autonomous.”

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