Robots in the Home

Home Robot Control for People With Disabilities

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Robots offer an opportunity to enable people to live safely and comfortably in their homes as they grow older. In the near future (we're all hoping), robots will be able to help us by cooking, cleaning, doing chores, and generally taking care of us, but they're not yet at the point where they can do those sorts of things autonomously. Putting a human in the loop can help robots be useful more quickly, which is especially important for the people who would benefit the most from this technology--specifically, folks with disabilities that make them more reliant on care. Ideally, the people who need things done would be the people in the loop telling the robot what to do, but that can be particularly challenging for those with disabilities that limit how mobile they are. If you can't move your arms or hands, for example, how are you going to control a robot?

Oregon Man Called Police About A Burglar. Armed Officers Found A Rogue Roomba


Instead, they found a trapped robotic vacuum cleaner. Three seasoned deputies -- one with at least 20 years on the force -- a detective who happened to be in the area, and two canine officers all responded to the call of a burglary in progress at a Cedar Hills home near Portland, Ore. Instead, they found a trapped robotic vacuum cleaner. The Washington County sheriff in Oregon says there was nothing unusual about the call. Sure, it was broad daylight -- 1:48 p.m. local time exactly -- but "crime can happen anytime."

Police responded to a burglary, but it turned out to just be a Roomba


At 1:48 p.m. on Monday two distressed men called 911 to report an attempted break in at an Oregon home. They told dispatch that the possible burglar was lurking in a locked bathroom, and that they could "see shadows under the bathroom door." The dispatcher immediately sent a team of officers to the location. Just seven minutes later, law enforcement surrounded the callers' house. They waited outside the bathroom with a trained K-9 and heard banging from inside the room.

Robot vacuums on sale: Save up to $150 on Roomba, Shark, Eufy, and more at Walmart


And don't even get us started on coming back from vacation to mounds of pet hair. Instead of the traditional meltdown, bask in the peace of mind that a robot vacuum can offer. Walmart is having a massive and very appropriate spring sale on robot vacuums (there are more than 20 discounted robot vacuums) from favorite brands like iRobot, Shark, Eufy, and more. We've pulled out a few of our favorite models on sale, but you can browse the five pages of deals here. Having a pet means accepting random hairballs in every corner of the house, even if you just cleaned yesterday.

Get Ready for National Robotics Week

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

It's hard to believe that it's been a decade since the first National Robotics Week. A decade ago I was a fledgling robotics blogger and was absolutely convinced that within the next 10 years, robots would be everywhere. That hasn't quite happened (yet), but robots certainly are a lot more places and doing a lot more things than they were in 2010, and that's definitely worth celebrating! National Robotics Week 2019 officially starts this Saturday, and runs from 6 to 14 April. To get everyone excited, the organizers put together this awesome video featuring a lineup of star roboticists: Ayanna Howard (Georgia Tech), Colin Angle (iRobot), Ian Bernstein (Misty Robotics), Kate Darling (MIT Media Lab), Mark Palatucci (Anki), and Rodney Brooks (MIT).

Save on Roombas and other robot vacuums all weekend using this promo code


Editor's note: Mashable and PCMag are both owned by Ziff Davis. The robot vacuum craze is still running rampant -- and why wouldn't it? No one wants to take time out of their day to vacuum anymore. Being able to push a button and let someone (in this case some-thing) else do the work for you while you kick back and catch up on your Netflix queue is an invaluable luxury. Anything that will make your living situation more comfortable while taking off loads of stress in the process is always a worthy investment -- which is why you should take advantage of this sale on robot vacuums in the PCMag Shop while you have the chance.

#282: A Social Robot Companion for Older Adults, with Dor Skuler


In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Dor Skuler, CEO and co-founder of Intuition Robotics, about a socially assistive robot for older adults named ElliQ. Skuler discusses the motivation for ElliQ, how it infers context and changes its behavior accordingly, and how ElliQ adapts its behavior over time. Below is a video that shows what interactions with ElliQ look like. Dor Skuler has co-founded five ventures, the most recent being Intuition Robotics. Skuler holds an MBA and Master's of Science in Marketing from Temple University, has co-authored'Cloud Computing: Business Trends and Technologies' published by Wiley in 2016 and holds board level advisory and director roles for several telecoms, cyber security and tech-led social impact ventures.

Save $60 on the Roomba 680 at Walmart during this sale


Vacuuming has to be *at least* in the top five most annoying chores ever. Half the time, your hard work completely goes to waste and you end up going over the same spot 500 times just to suck up a stale fruit loop. It's a real pain, and hiring someone to help you clean is just too expensive -- but there's another way to delegate the work, and we're sure you've heard the name: Roomba. Pick up one of these robot companions and avoid the seemingly inescapable darkness that is handheld vacuuming for good. Walmart is currently selling the Roomba 680 for $60 off of its original $299.99 price tag -- meaning you'll only be paying $239.99 if you grab one while this deal is live.

Apple iPhones, Roomba robot vacuums, Bosch coffee machines, Bose headphones, and more on sale for March 13 in the UK


If you're in need of extra motivation to get through a midweek slump, then we're here to help with a bunch of deals on technology for the home, kitchen, and on the go. You can save on a wide range of products including smartphones, smart scales, coffee machines, air fryers, headphones, and more. We have tracked down the best deals on the biggest names like Apple, Samsung, Beats, Bose, and Eufy, with chances to save big across the board. These are the best deals from across the internet for March 13. Save on a wide range of devices for the home including smart scales, electronic sewing machines, WiFi routers, and more.

Dying social robot Jibo goes out with a song and a dance


The servers running Jibo, a connected home robot, are about to be shut down, and the robot has started informing its owners with a bittersweet message. Reporter Dylan Martin tweeted a video showing Jibo saying that its functions will soon be "limited," but it "really enjoyed our time together." "Thank you very, very much for having me around," Jibo says. "Maybe someday, when robots are more advanced than today, and everyone has them in their homes, you can tell yours that I said'hello.'" Jibo then proceeds to dance.