Home Robots Are Becoming Part of Our Daily Lives
Rosey, the robot maid on The Jetsons animated television series, was the epitome of what many of us thought a future mechanized maid would look like. Although she wasn’t human, she looked like a mechanical person in an old-fashioned maid’s uniform. Like many robot simulations from the 1960s and before, Rosy didn’t divert much in appearance from a normal person, except for the obvious trappings, like having claw-like hands and getting around on wheels.
Jump ahead to 2022 and consider what robot “maids” actually look like, and if, like Rosey, they can keep our homes clean. Most of today’s robot maids are compact products that resemble discs or smoke detectors rather than humans. Unlike Rosey, who did it all, each is specialized, limiting what it takes care of. For instance, the Cleansebot, a hand-held unit that sanitizes up to 40 different kinds of materials, including fabric, cleans high-touch items using UV-C light. Robot vacuums, like the Roomba, have been around for a while ridding our floors of dirt and dust. Taking cleaning floors to the next level, the iRobot Bravva jet 240, is a robot floor mop that can get into difficult-to-reach spaces. All these products are adept at performing household chores, giving us more time to attend to other responsibilities, just as Rosey did.
But, you might ask, do they do windows? The answer is, “Yes.” The Gecko Robot Window Cleaner adheres to the glass surfaces it’s cleaning using suction and can cover large expanses of windows no matter their height. Using Artificial Intelligence, it is able to detect the edges so every inch of window gets scrubbed thoroughly. Not only does this robot maid get the job done, it prevents us from performing high-risk work that could cause an injury resulting from tumbling off a high ladder.
Though unavailable at the moment, PR2 robots, which actually do resemble humans, are being developed to assist seniors, and those with reduced mobility, perform daily tasks in their homes. The object is to make them more independent while assisting them with eating, dressing, cleaning, and folding the laundry. If these goals are met in the near future, innumerable people will be given the chance to live better lives.
No longer considered luxury items, home robots are thought by many to do a better job of keeping our homes clean and our families healthy than we do. Unrestricted by bodies that can’t fit into difficult spaces or by time constraints, robot maids can take their time being precise and efficient. Unlike Rosey the robot, however, today’s robot maids are silent, don’t meddle in our affairs, and do only what they were made to do. At least for now.