Home Robots: Would You Welcome One?

Ever wished there was someone else to take out the garbage, clean the braai or scrub the toilet? Someone who wouldn't flinch at tackling these unpleasant domestic tasks. And would actually do them with a 'smile'. These days, the solution to this might lie in the development of friendly, robot helpers who could make your life at home - or even in the office - that much easier. The technology is there but, the question is, would you welcome this machine house guest? Here's what we know about house robots and how they can impact your life...



What's the deal with robots at home?


What can robots help you with?

So far, we've got used to the idea of Alexa and Siri being in our lives and in our homes. That high tech software development that allows us to call a friend or play a song without actually having to touch a device. But, how do we feel about sharing a house with a more advanced technological 'being'? Is it a comfort or a curse? Tech writers Tiana Cline and Holly Brockwell took a look at domestic robots and discovered some interesting insights. Here's what they learnt about the things robots can do...



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They can pour you a drink

The Bionic Bar on some of Royal Caribbean's cruise ships sees robot bar tenders shake things up in a chic setting. These mixologists are essentially two robotic arms that prepare as many as two drinks a minute. They pour, mix and shake cocktail to perfection. And there's no need for awkward bar banter. If Royal Caribbean has already made the most of this technology, who's to say it won't become more common in home bars in years to come?


They can print you a snack

The notion of 3D food printers has been around for a few years, though the tech is still fairly new to SA. But the technology behind 3D printing made great progress this year as a result of COVID-19 and the huge demand for PPE. So, surely these developments will make their way to the 3D foodie printers, too? At the moment, you can taste a delicious sweet treat created by the Wiiboox Sweetin 3D chocolate printer. And food design and consultancy agency, Studio H has used their 3D food printing technology to create bespoke goods for companies like Woolworths and Discovery. Would you eat a printed treat?



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They can drive you to work

Yes, this was bound to come up. Tesla and other self-drive car companies have been hard at work to bring us automated vehicles and change the way we get from A to B. Now, you can conceivably sit in a self-drive sedan or even make deliveries in an automated minivan or truck. While other car tech companies are doing all they can to develop the technology, it's still Elon Musk's Tesla leading the charge here. Would you like to park a self-drive car in your garage one day?


What robots are available in SA?

We all know about the wonderful robot vacuum cleaner, iRobot's Roomba. It's been around for several years and its success gave rise to a host of other vacuums that quietly glide over the floor, totally unaccompanied. In the future, we're likely to see things like domestic robot mops and lawn mowers that will work together using AI to get jobs done even more efficiently.



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Then, there's the UBTech Alpha 1E robot, conveniently available at Takealot.com. It's part of the Alpha series of robots, designed to join your household as a useful and friendly family robot. According to the UBTech website, Alpha 1E was built to 'easily interact as both an educational and home hub robot'. Alpha's functions include voice interaction, dancing and facial recognition. He can even do push-ups. The Alpha 1E is 40cm tall and can help with everything from reading bedtime stories to switching on the kettle. He's not the most advanced robot out there, but he's a lot of fun.


So, are you ready to welcome a robot into your home? Weigh up those pro's and con's and let us know.


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