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.
Your robot knows about you. It even organizes your dinner party because it already knows your friends. It helps you develop friendships and network. It thinks and collects important information and knowledge. Not just the one already important to you, but even better, the one that will become important in the future.
Robots are becoming more and more ubiquitous in our daily lives, but these seven bots stole the show in 2016. The Zenbo personal assistant robot can be a caretaker and entertainer. While Boston Dynamic's SpotMini will help you do the dishes, preserve the planet by recycling, and even bring you a coke. Got a pile of clean laundry? Laundroid will fold it for you...just make sure to give it a few hours to finish the job.
"Hum," above, is a science-fiction short from director Tom Teller and Frame 48. It follows a robot that works as a dishwasher in a restaurant, confined to a small, poorly lit room and abused by a cruel human boss. One day, an injured bird lands on the window sill and shows the robot that there's a whole world outside his cell. With help from the bird, the robot tries to break free.