[Image above] Credit: Preferred Networks Inc., YouTube
Robots are fascinating inventions.
When George Devol created the first industrial robot, among other things, he probably didn’t envision how far we would come from his “programmed article transfer.” Or perhaps he did.
Robots have been making headlines for quite a while, especially this year, when we watched Boston Dynamics’ “pet” robot take care of some of our household chores, and we saw creepy Sophia engage in a conversation with a human at Brain Bar.
But more than just fun toys for people with excessive amounts of money, robots have been working in manufacturing plants, performing tasks more efficiently and economically than their human counterparts ever did.
But back to those routine home chores.
Ever since the Roomba vacuum cleaner became a must-have appliance, not much has evolved in the way of domestic robots, according to this New York Times article. But have we gotten this lazy? is there really a need for robots to do our small household chores? Isn’t that what kids are for?!
Apparently one company believes that robots are here to serve our daily needs. Preferred Networks Inc. has a mission to “create a society where robots can actively support our daily living activities,” according to its website. Its deeper mission is to drive innovation in areas of transportation, manufacturing, and bio/healthcare.
The company has developed a robot that can identify and pick up objects, move them, and set them down in a location of your choice without dropping them. The “Autonomous Tidying-up Robot” responds to human commands and performs functions like putting laundry in the hamper or aligning slippers on the floor. According to the video, the robot uses advanced technology based on deep learning to recognize objects and respond to commands.
Last week Preferred Networks earned a Semi-Grand Prix award in the Industry/Market category for its robot at CEATEC Japan, a technical trade show.
This type of robot would be ideal for assisting disabled people or those with limited mobility in taking care of their daily tasks. As for the rest of us, until Preferred Networks can get these robots to move a little faster, we’re probably better off picking up after ourselves.
Watch the video below to see two of the robots in action.