Here’s what we dreamed of as children: jetpacks, entire meals that came in pill form, time travel, and, of course, helper robots. That last idea was especially interesting: What humans wouldn’t desire a robot to make their bed for them each day, go to work for them when they didn’t feel like making the trip, or vacuum the living room rug when they’d rather put up their feet and watch television? However, this promised day of robot butlers, maids, and workers has never dawned. Sure, we have little robots that vacuum our rugs, however they are always bumping into things. Can we do better than vacuum-bots?
This amusing video called “Thanks a lot, robot friend” highlights the issue with helper robots in a few seconds. The task the robot in the video is trying to accomplish is to pour a beer into a glass while holding something in the other arm. Upon attempting to carry out this task, the robot pours beer everywhere and then it’s arm falls off. It may be silly, but it demonstrates robots have a ways to go before they’re able to perform even simple household tasks.
Washing Your Hair the Robotic Way
In spite of this comical video, some companies are coming up with robots that are more advanced and help people. Panasonic, for example, unveiled its Hair-Washing Robot last year. This robot wets, shampoos, conditions, and rinses your hair and gives you a little massage. Most of us do not need robots to assist with this. It was intended for elderly people or people with restrictions that may make such a simple task very hard.
The Robot Bed
Panasonic also came out with a robotic bed that transforms into an electric wheelchair. You can see how the elderly or disabled would find this very helpful. So, there are a few helper bots out there designed for people who absolutely need them, rather than those of us who only want to be lazy and not do house work. Regardless, it seems like we are well on our way to having the world of 1950s science fiction come into reality.