From robots replacing humans to robots serving humans
Where are the robots?
We see them in movies from Rosie Jetson to wall-E, we read about them in books and articles. We know they are already making a big impact in the industry world, raising efficiency in agriculture, making us live longer and better in healthcare, and saving soldier’s lives in warfare. We all know that a robot maximizes our capabilities in every aspect. Robots make us better humans because they enable us to focus on the things that are important for us.
So where are the robots? how come we hear about them everywhere except in our lives?
It seems like the robotic industry invests in businesses and efficiency instead of in humans.
100% of the robots today are not interacting with us!
And I’m not talking about vacuum robots that are just for cleaning, I’m talking about robots that will serve us in our daily life. A robot that can listen, talk, understand and move freely in order to put us in the center.
So why is the industry ignoring its biggest consumers: Us in our homes?
There are 5 main reasons:
1. The environment: Our home is the hardest environment for a robot- it is unpredictable, filled with toys, kids, pets, rugs ,each house is completely different and more importantly- each human-being is completely different.
2. The user: While military, industrial, and agriculture robots are operated by trained adult workers, the personal robot must be so intuitive that a 4-year-old or a grandmother with no training can use it easily- it has to be intuitive to use just like switching on the lights.
3. The price: A revolution can’t exist without users, and the robot must be affordable for the average family – just like an iPhone. If I compare it to an industrial or military robot, they can cost about 100 times more than a personal robot. This challenge has been a prohibitive factor for years and the only way to solve it is through IT, cloud and software innovations and less hardware.
4. Clear benefit: A user is not looking for a robot but for its clear benefit and nobody has yet to understand the real benefit of a personal robot and deliver on that benefit – without failing. The market today failed in creating a personal robot. Products like Asimo, Kuri, Buddy, Pepper and Sony’s robot dog can do many overpromising things but nobody understands why they should buy them. A personal robot shouldn’t replace our loved ones- it should connect us with them.
5. The package: a personal robot is a combination of mechanics, software and hardware but above all it must be a product you will want to put in your home – the design and details must be in the highest level, otherwise it is just a toy. We must do for robotics what apple did for smartphones and Tesla for electric cars – make them a sexy, fashionable product.
So now yo are probably asking yourself: why on earth am I doing it?
Because this is the holy grail of robotics, and the place it can make the biggest impact.
The way I see it, every technology we have in our home is just a phase on the way to become a robot because when you add AI and movement to any appliance you maximize it to serve you in the best way.
Take your Amazon Echo for example, today It is just a smart speaker. Add a display screen and it will become a real AI assistant. Add movement and now it is a robot that can really put you in the center. This is where every technology will go in the future and this future is closer than you think.
Technology today is mature enough to overcome the challenges of a personal robot. Cloud technology, electric power, brushless motors, digital cameras and computing modules made a giant leap in the last couple of years due to the internet and smartphones revolution. This has set a stable ground for the next big revolution in our lives- the personal robotic revolution.