Robotics has changed the world and will continue to do so over the coming decades. The dystopian fears and views of robotics have become a major staple in pop culture, showing up in major film franchises, comics, books etc. With the equal rise and interest in artificial intelligence, there are shared concerns even among some of the world’s leading experts that society could be playing with fire.
Nevertheless most of the technology that will come from this “Fourth Industrial Revolution” will be more disruptive than destructive and more helpful than harmful. Robots are already here and more prevalent in our daily lives than you may think.
Delivering packages, assembly cars, providing “customer service”, traveling through space, providing security, and cleaning up cities. Robots are reshaping the way humans tackle daily tasks. From your living room to the race track robots have invaded our world.
As technology continues to accelerate at an exponential rate, robots are able to take on even more complex tasks helping people in the medical fields, act Jarvis-like personal assistants, and connect individuals across the world.
Here are 7 robots that could be impacting part of your life very soon.
Developed by Blue Frog Robotics, “Buddy”, is here to be your helpful little friend around the home. Equipped with its impressive inbuilt sensors, 3D camera, and Wi-Fi connectivity, Buddy can be the perfect assistant for the interconnected smart home.
Buddy has a host of features that include in-home security, kitchen assistance, and the ability to entertain small children. Buddy is such a sociable robot that it can even be used as a companion for elderly individuals living on their own.
Already tested in several institutes for autism, Buddy is even helping children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) better interact with between parents, carers, and children using its ability to play games, tell stories, and a host of fun interactions with children.
Preferred Networks/Tidying Robots
Preferred Networks wants to bring robots to everyone in 5 years, but not the terminator machines. This past October, at the Japanese consumer electronics show, the Preferred Networks team showcased an autonomous robot that has the impressive ability to walk around the room and clean up after you, picking up clothes, toys, and even your shoes.
The $2 billion Japanese company aims to create robots that help handicapped individuals, the elderly, or even children take care of daily tasks around the house and hopefully make their lives a little bit easier.
One of the friendliest customer service robots you will ever meet, the SoftBank Robotics creation, Pepper, is the world’s first emotionally intelligent robot. Designed for the retail industry, Pepper has the ability to recognize human emotions and adapts its behavior accordingly.
As stated by the Softbank team, “Pepper was optimized for human interaction and is able to engage with people through conversation and his touchscreen.” Standing 120 cm, Pepper is intelligent enough to fully interact with its environment and is confident to enter a conversation with every person that crosses its path.
Pepper is built with 4 directional microphones, 3D cameras, 360-degree movement, and internet connectivity to help with its daily interactions. Currently, over 2000 businesses and schools are using Pepper as a way to greet, inform and educate visitors.
Like your own personal assistant or lab partner, YuMi is a compact and highly dexterous dual or single arm robot that could help with a wide range of tasks inside the laboratory and eventually at home.
Accurate enough to put a needle through a thread, the ABB created arms can work with humans in manufacturing to tackle major projects or even activities that require a certain level of precision. The sensors on YuMi give it the ability to detect obstacles and even learn while it works.
Created by robotics maker Knightscope, K1 is the security you want at your place of business. Designed to be placed at points of exit and entry, K1 has a host of security features that include sensors and scanners that can detect as well as identify potential threats to security. The aim of creating something like K1 is to help build safer and stronger communities across the globe.
Sounding an alarm if there is a threat, the K1 robot sensors can see people, identify weapons, radiation, with its 360 degrees live streaming, and even has license-plate recognition. All information collected by K1 is sent via a network in real time.
The AGCO/Fendt developed, Xaver robot, is an eco-friendly alternative to tackle some daily activities in the agriculture industry. Like a swarm of mini animals, the 6-12 Xaver robots can handle a long list of tasks on the farm that includes the ability to precisely plant and map seeds, autonomously, using a combination of satellite navigation and data management in the cloud.
Robocar may not affect your everyday life unless you are a big racing fan, but the technology used in the vehicles is a cool example of how robots can create new forms of entertainment and push the future forward. Roborace is the first competition where people and “machine” teams test their latest autonomous tech via a competitive platform.
The Robocar itself is the world’s first driverless electric race car; a vehicle designed by Tron and Oblivion Hollywood conceptual artist, Daniel Simon.
Though the thrill of “roboracing” has a lot of exciting potential immersive, entertainment value, a lot of the technology created for the races will eventually be used to push the world of autonomous driving further into the future improving things like road safety and commercial autonomous car performance.
How do you think robotics will change your life?