Growing up, a lot of children watched futuristic shows, such as the Jetsons, that had almost everything being done by robots. Even today, the thought of your household chores being taken care of by a robot may seem a little silly, and most definitely not in the near future. In that, you may just be wrong.
Currently, work is being done to help bring robots to help with daily chores around your home and office much more accessible and realistic. Currently, Cornell’s Personal Robotics Lab is working on robots that can help you do some fairly simple, but frustrating chores, such as clean up a messy room, load and unload the dishwasher, and even put together a shelf. These robots are being made to do these tasks without any intervention from the human!
The biggest problem that the companies working on these robots have encountered so far is how to give these robots the ability to learn and navigate in changing and uncertain environments. For example, having a robot to clean your house would be great for many people. Unfortunately, “teaching” the robot not only the layout of your house, but how to deal with specific items, can be a little daunting. Not only that, but the differences on a daily, or even hourly, basis could be drastic. Having a robot do the same thing over and over has been done. It is easy to have a robot do one exact thing a number of times. Trying to have them do something that is constantly changing is another matter, and much more difficult to figure out. Even with these setbacks, it is projected that these household, assistant robots may be available in as little as five to ten years. It is also projected that they may cost about the same as a car currently costs, possibly even a little less.