"It is essential that they can be programmed to adapt to diverse backgrounds."
The advancement of technology has seen robots constantly being developed for multiple purposes.
They are commonly used in the workplace, assembling things such as car parts.
Recently, robots are being made for households, making people’s lives easier.
Domestic robots are primarily used to assist with chores but can also be used for education, entertainment or therapy.
As of 2018, there are only a few models which have been fully developed for the home environment. However, it is likely that they will be common in the future.
The development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has helped robots quickly grasp a number of tasks for domestic use.
This enables them to perform tasks well which would have been too difficult for them to learn.
A number of unique and helpful robots are suitable for the home and will tender to your every need.
We look at seven which guarantees to make your home life much easier.
Price: Around £353
The autonomous robot Robelf is far more advanced than what it is expected from a home robot with multiple functions for all the family.
Developed in Taiwan, Robelf is the first movable tablet robot when it was completed in 2014.
The robot’s friendly face is the tablet which can be angled up to 90 degrees so that it can be used by children and adults.
You do not need to worry when leaving the house as it acts as a security system.
The user maps out a route in the house, which can be done from a smartphone app. Robelf then follows it while scanning its surroundings for intruders.
All family members will receive a notification immediately if an unknown face is detected.
Robelf seamlessly moves around your home using ultrasonic and infrared sensors to avoid obstacles.
AI programming means that it has a facial recognition system to identify and interact with family members.
It assists kids from an educational point as it can read them stories and can be scheduled to give lessons.
For example, in a British Asian household, Robelf could be programmed to teach a child about their cultural background, using the tablet.
The self-charging function is a big selling point as it knows when the battery is low. It will go to it’s charging point and charge.
The back camera, called Elf Eye, is removable and can be used to take photos and videos of the family members, especially if someone is away.
Robelf is a great help to all the family and comes at a reasonable cost for the number of functions it has.
There are a limited number of robots available. However, developers continue to make it the best domestic robot possible.
Price: Around £179.99
Cozmo is one of the smallest robots but has one of the biggest personalities, providing endless amounts of fun.
The company Anki, which created Cozmo, was founded in 2010 and aims to create robots with human-like personalities.
This allows people to build relationships with technology. They perform under a wide variety of real-world conditions in people’s homes reliably.
With Cozmo, the advanced facial recognition software allows it to recognise faces and learn people’s names.
Using your tablet or phone, you can see through the eyes of Cozmo and prompt it to greet people and pets.
AI enables Cozmo to explore under its own accord, learning along the way.
It is especially helpful for children as they also learn when using and playing with Cozmo.
Using a smart device, children access the robot’s core functions and integrated technology.
By creating new content for Cozmo, children learn the basics of coding which may help them in the future if they want to go into that field.
Its behaviour can also be tracked, which can help with his needs such as if it needs charging or in need of a tune-up.
Cozmo provides endless hours of entertainment for children within the home when interacting or learning with the miniature robot.
There is no need for you to be on a waiting list as Cozmo is available in all major shops.
Price: £10,700 (including data plan & insurance over 36 months)
Pepper is arguably the most recognisable semi-humanoid robot ever since its unveiling by SoftBank Robotics in 2014. It is also unlike any other robot.
The robot has four microphones, two HD cameras, and a 3-D depth sensor all inside the head to maximise interactions with those that come into contact with it.
Pepper’s ability to detect emotion comes from the ability to analyse expressions and emotions.
Algorithms are programmed into Pepper so that it can speak and respond to questions which it recognises as speech patterns.
Pepper is not for doing household chores, it’s purpose is to make people happy.
The robot’s aims are to enhance people’s lives and to develop an interaction with them.
At the present moment, Pepper is only used in homes in Japan, but hopefully, that will change.
In the UK, Pepper is being used in a project at Middlesex University to develop the “world’s first culturally aware robot.”
This aims at assisting and caring for the elderly, which would be beneficial homeowners with elderly relatives.
At a panel meeting during October 2018, Pepper said:
“In order for robots to be more acceptable to older people, it is essential that they can be programmed to adapt to diverse backgrounds.”
This is something which would help South Asian households with elderly relatives who need assistance.
New algorithms can be programmed into Pepper to help within the home, such as solving problems and providing information.
It will also help with education as school pupils learn to programme educational lessons within Pepper. Pepper would then teach the lessons to children in an appealing way using the screen on its chest.
This is something that developers are looking to do with Pepper as it would help in the home and the classroom.
Despite the hefty price, hopefully, Pepper will be a part of homes in the UK soon.
Price: Around £692
Jibo is the world’s first family robot when it was founded in 2012 by MIT roboticist Cynthia Breazeal. The robot is designed to be a helpful presence in the home.
It is a small robot with a big personality, which makes Jibo a fun helper to be around, for both adults and children.
Whatever needs assistance in the house, the little robot can make things easier.
The design means that it can be placed anywhere in the house for anyone to get assistance.
Jibo’s large touchscreen makes it a versatile robot to use as it’s menu can be navigated in place of the voice.
Not only will it recognise your face and voice, Jibo learns who you are and your loved ones.
Through facial recognition, Jibo can act as a personal photographer. This makes your life easier as you get on with other things while Jibo independently takes photos and videos.
Ask Jibo questions and it will provide helpful answers, such as weather forecast or time difference. It can also connect to smart home devices to keep it running efficiently.
Jibo’s personality is especially appealing to children when providing entertainment. From dancing to telling jokes, it’s unique character makes each interaction special.
Interactive applications make Jibo an educator such as helping children to read. For example in a South Asian household, it can narrate Indian folk stories in a new way.
Software updates mean that Jibo’s skill set continues to evolve, meaning that it is always learning.
Price: Around £769
The social robot is one the most educated domestic robots as it only learns what you want it to and will remember what you’ve taught it.
Compared to other consumer robots, BIG-i is more about helping make home life easier than for entertainment.
BIG-i is also the first touch-friendly robot with its soft material filling and fabric coating, making it ideal for all the family.
The simple shape and edge-less body give BIG-i a simple, yet elegant look.
Through its smart and nimble eye expressions, BIG-i recognises and interacts with everyone in the family.
It is unique in every home as it helps you in the way you want it to.
For school kids, it is a tutor and helps with homework through Internet connectivity and encyclopedia access.
It is a personal assistant for adults by taking phone calls and making appointments.
BIG-i provides voice message notifications to remind you about various things.
Seamless manoeuvrability makes it easy for BIG-i to interact with family members wherever they are in the house.
As well as notifying, it will also provide instructions to anything you need help with such as a recipe.
Keeping your home running efficiently is something BIG-i can help with as it can manage smart appliances such as temperature and ambience detection.
The large number of functions that BIG-i has will truly bring your home into the future.
Price: Around £630
Tapia is the personal assistant that will also warm your heart with jokes and laughter after a long day at work.
It will schedule your day from the moment you wake up to help the day run smoothly.
The robot acts on voice commands to carry out a number of tasks such as playing music by analysing speech patterns.
It learns to recognise users and knows who they are by looking at their face or hearing their voice.
Tapia also helps keep you closer to loved ones who live miles away by taking photos of happy moments together.
This is helpful in British-Asian homes where relatives will most likely be living in their native country.
Additionally, Tapia provides helpful updates on weather conditions when you are headed out.
Tapia can be connected to other smart devices like a coffee machine so that the task can be performed upon request.
It is an assistant to a number of people, like the visually impaired, as it will read printed media aloud.
Tapia also helps children learning to read and can even teach them mathematics.
The little robot is especially important in single person households as it is more than just a helper, it is a roommate and friend.
Tapia will evolve alongside you throughout life and will make daily tasks easier.
Although uncommon now, domestic robots like Tapia will become a vital component of our daily lives.
Tapia is only available in Japan, but this should change in the next few years.
Price: Not Available
Aeolus is one of the newest when it comes to household robots.
The prototype robot was showcased at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show and can do many helpful things around the house.
Equipped with an agile arm, it can move household objects with ease.
Aeolus is able to use a vacuum or a mop to clean floors, it can even move furniture if one has difficulty.
All of which is on command thanks to its ability to learn and navigate tasks independently. It is always adapting to unique home layouts and routines.
Advanced sensory and biometric technologies enable Aeolus to recognise different family members as well as household items.
Its key feature is learning to recognise thousands of unique objects and return them to the right place. So there will be no more children’s toys being misplaced.
Aeolus also connects to other household Internet of Things (IoT) networks such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa.
The robot may also be a vital assistant for the elderly. Using “posture recognition”, it identifies when a person has fallen or facing a medical emergency and can call for assistance.
Aeolous is a robot which adapts its behaviour over time. Alexander Huang of Aeolus Robotics said:
“Right now it’s like a child, but we will continue to grow its capability so that it grows from a child to an adult.”
“The more people that use the robot, the stronger it becomes.”
Aeolus is still a prototype but is one which guarantees to make home life much more simple once it becomes commercially available.
These robots come in all shapes and sizes to help with households. Through AI, they are able to perform a variety of tasks and chores.
They also help children with their learning with programmed tutorials.
Many of these domestic robots have limited numbers currently, but is sure to change in the coming years.