Monday, 13 January 2020

Daily robot chores

Jetsons Rosie, model XB-500 (Shaggy Dude, 7 April 2015)
I watched a very interesting video by Fast Company which posed a question of people at the European Innovation Festival in October last year. They asked "What one daily task would you have your personal robot do?"

So funny, because my immediate answer was cleaning. A couple of those interviewed said the same thing, which brought back images of Rosie the robot maid from the Jetsons. Whatever we do get, as one interviewee said, it has to be better at delivering than the Roomba.

What I want from robotics is bigger than just cleaning. I want is 'Mum' to hurry around after me, to hand me things that I need next, to pick up things I have forgotten, to cook for me, to remind me that it is someone's birthday, to put me to bed when I am tired or sick, and to do my ironing, make my appointments and organise the life admin stuff that never seems to stop coming. I guess what I ideally would like is a Butler/Secretary combination; what used to be known as a 'General Factotum'.

I would like to - as Bertie Wooster did - ask Jeeves, and have things sorted out with minimum fuss, immaculately, precisely and without breaking into the cocktail hour.

Now I know that robotics are a LONG, LONG way off this degree of complexity yet. But I would love to be freed up to do the things that I like doing, as opposed to doing the things I have to do. And I am sure that I am not alone.

Perhaps I might see some of my desired robot tasks happen in my lifetime. I hope so :-)



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