The public narrative around home robotics is largely split between social and functional robots, which differ in the types of services offered and their potential impact on jobs and roles traditionally filled by humans. Functional robots (seen below left) are built to handle specific tasks--cleaning, cooking, gardening, and security, to name a few--and could drastically affect the domestic labor market. Coverage jumped in January 2018, when LG showcased three new concept robots: Serving Robot, Porter Robot, and Shopping Cart Robot at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018. Quid also found articles that mentioned a robot that can climb walls to clean and sort tupperware, one that can show your home to potential renters, and a home monitor that tells you if your kids walk the dog. Social robots (below right) aim to meet your emotional needs and are developed to provide companionship, care, or instruction.
In its secretive R&D department, Honda has been developing a bipedal disaster robot designed to climb through crumbled buildings. Honda unveiled the prototypical E2-DR robot last week at the 2017 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Vancouver, reports IEEE Spectrum. As the Honda video shows, the E2-DR robot can climb ladders, ascend stairs, crawl through tight spaces, and manipulate its body to squeeze through cracks. SEE ALSO: Robotics expert Dr. Ross Mead reveals the truth about your favorite movie robots The five and a half-foot tall E2-DR is specifically designed to enter extreme environments that humans can't -- or shouldn't. According to Honda, these robots will act as first responders "in social infrastructures, such as plants," as they'll be mostly immune to toxic chemicals and noxious air.
This illustration shows the combustion in side the robot propelling it out of the water. Engineers often look to nature for inspiration when creating robots. Just look at Astro the robot dog or the antelope-like SpaceBok. A team with the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at the Imperial College London in the UK has developed a floating robot that can shoot a jet of water out of its rear to propel itself through the air. The robot is shaped like a little airplane.
It's a fun site designed for robot enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds. You should go check it out right now. Seriously, stop reading this and go to robots.ieee.org. We really hope there was something that captured your interest. A major goal of the ROBOTS site--which is an expansion of our Robots App from a few years back--is being a resource for anyone interested in robotics, no matter if you're a beginner or a robot legend.
LG made quite an impression with a range of robots at last year's CES, and it's not stopping there. Following the trial runs of its Airport Guide Robot and the Airport Cleaning Robot at Incheon International Airport, the Korean company is now expanding its family of robots -- now branded under "CLOi" -- with three new models geared towards commercial use: Serving Robot, Porter Robot and Shopping Cart Robot. These machines appear to be about the same size as the Airport Guide Robot, and you'll find a familiar pair of jade-colored eyes on a circular plate at the top.