Robots in the Home


Hanson Robotics Limited Partners with Embody Digital to Advance Social Robot Communication Skills - Hanson Robotics

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About Hanson Robotics Limited Hanson Robotics is an AI and robotics company dedicated to creating living, intelligent machines that enrich people's lives. The company develops renowned robot characters, such as Sophia, the world's first robot citizen, which serve as AI platforms for scientific research, education, healthcare, sales and service, entertainment, and other research and service applications. Hanson Robotics' scientists, artists, roboticists, and engineers strive to bring robots to life as true friends who deeply understand and care for people, and collaborate with us in pursuit of ever-greater good for all. For more information please visit www.hansonrobotics.com.


They welcomed a robot into their family, now they're mourning its death

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The robot showed up at Kenneth Williams' doorstep when he needed it most. Williams had just been laid off from his job when he plugged in Jibo, a social home robot, on November 1st, 2017. "For that year [that I didn't have a job], it was a presence in my life every single day that I talked to," he says. Jibo sat in Williams' bedroom, on his desk, where every day, it greeted him in the morning and ran through the weather and his calendar. Williams, 44, asked Jibo questions, requested music, and played its games. Jibo couldn't do much, really, but its most redeeming feature, the one that cemented it as a robot darling in its owner's heart, was its facial recognition.


This top-rated robot vacuum is at its lowest price—for today only

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

This Roomba will help keep your floors tidy all year round. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA Today's newsroom and any business incentives. Everyone knows that vacuuming is at the very bottom of the totem pole when it comes common household chores. Lugging a heavy vacuum around the house and trying to maneuver the cord each time you'd like to clean a different section of a room is tedious and tiresome.


Why are iRobot's new Roombas so damn expensive?

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Robot vacuum pioneer iRobot has big plans in the works. From new Roombas that clean themselves to smart vacuums that communicate with floor-mopping machines, and even robotic lawn mowers, iRobot has been busy. But while these sophisticated home care systems sound impressive, even useful, they suffer from one glaring downside. They are all staggeringly expensive. This move by iRobot is no accident.


Amazon conference showcases robots and social uses of artificial intelligence

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At Amazon's inaugural re:MARS conference, an autonomous mower on display cut straight lines in grass as it scooted back and forth across an artificial lawn on Thursday. The gray, cylindrical Terra robot by iRobot, maker of the Roomba vacuum, was one of many automated machines demonstrated at the event at Las Vegas's Aria resort. Another robot called Temi blasted pop music while, like a faithful pet, it followed a person around the spacious convention center. Thousands of tech fans descended on the Mojave desert for the conference, a public offshoot of Amazon Chairman Jeff Bezos' previous invitation-only MARS conferences (the acronym stands for "Machine Learning, Robotics, Automation and Space"). In dozens of breakout sessions, business leaders discussed the future of jobs, drones, and tools powered by Amazon's cloud platform in fields ranging from space exploration to health care.


This Roomba is the cheapest we've seen in months—but only for today

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Keep floors tidy with the iRobot Roomba 671. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA Today's newsroom and any business incentives. Let's be honest, vacuuming is one of the worst chores out there. It's tedious, it's loud, and even my dog hates it; he likes to bark at the vacuum to vocalize his discontent.


These Robotic Objects Are Designed to Be Stabbed and Beaten to Help You Feel Better

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At a human-computer interaction conference this week in Glasgow, U.K., Carnegie Mellon University researcher Michal Luria is presenting a paper on "Challenges of Designing HCI for Negative Emotions." The discussion includes a case study involving what Luria calls "cathartic objects": robotic contraptions that you can beat, stab, smash, and swear at to help yourself feel better. In the paper, presented at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Luria and co-authors Amit Zoran and Jodi Forlizzi point out that technology tends to try and handle negative emotions by attempting to "fix" them immediately: Technology is often designed to support positive emotions, yet it is not very common to encounter technology that helps people engage with emotions of sadness, anger or loneliness (as opposed to resolving them)... As technology gains a central role in shaping everyday life and is becoming increasingly social, perhaps there is a design space for interaction with social and personal negative emotions. The researchers acknowledge that it's going to be challenging to find "cathartic" ways of engaging with negative emotions using technology that can demonstrably improve well-being, and that studying the topic is going to be tricky as well.


Is There a Future for Laundry-Folding Robots?

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

The promising thing about laundry-folding robots is that they target a job that everybody does frequently, and nobody really likes. But to be successful in robotics, especially in consumer robotics, you have to be both affordable and reliable, and robots are, still, generally awful at those things. Laundroid, a robotic system that could ingest wads of laundry and somehow spit out neatly folded clothes, put on a few demos at CES over the past few years, but the Japanese company behind it just announced bankruptcy--probably because the robot didn't work all the time, and would likely have been absurdly expensive. Laundroid may not have been a success, but does that mean that other laundry-folding robots, most notably Foldimate, are doomed as well? The original Laundroid concept was to combine washing clothes, drying clothes, ironing clothes, and folding clothes into one single (magical?)


Consumer Robotics Company Anki Abruptly Shuts Down

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Barely an hour ago, Recode broke the news that Anki, the consumer robotics company behind both Vector, Cozmo, and Overdrive, will be terminating several hundred employees and shutting down on Wednesday after it failed to secure a new round of financing at the end of last week. This is a significant blow to the consumer robotics industry: Anki, which came out of stealth during Apple's WWDC in 2013, had nearly US $100 million in revenue in 2017, and they seemed to have found a sweet spot with relatively sophisticated robotic toys that were still at least somewhat affordable. Despite having sold more than 1.5 million robots (hundreds of thousands of which were Cozmos) as of late last year, it wasn't enough "to support a hardware and software business and bridge to our long-term product roadmap," Anki said in a statement sent to press today. While the details of what happened at Anki are still developing, the company told Recode that "a significant financial deal at a late stage fell through with a strategic investor and we were not able to reach an agreement." This is despite additional reports that a variety of companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, and Comcast, were all potentially interested in acquiring Anki.


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?