Here’s what we dreamed of as kids: jetpacks, entire meals that came in pill form, time travel, and, of course, helper robots. That last concept was especially intriguing: What humans wouldn’t desire a robot to make their bed for them in the morning, 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? Unfortunately, this promised day of robot butlers, maids, and workers hasn’t dawned. Sure, we have little robots that vacuum our rugs, but 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 attempting to perform is to pour a beer into a glass while holding something in the other arm. Upon attempting to execute this task, the robot pours beer everywhere and then it’s arm falls off. It may be ridiculous, but it demonstrates robots have a ways to go before they are able to perform even simple household tasks.
Washing Your Hair the Robotic Way
Panasonic, however, is stepping up. The business last year introduced its Hair-Washing Robot. Really. This robot can wet, shampoo, rinse, and condition your hair. It will also give you a spot massage. Obviously, you can do all of this yourself, without the assistance of a robot. To be fair, the robot is designed for elderly residents who might need the help.
The Robot Bed
Panasonic also announced a robotic bed that transforms into an electric wheelchair. You can see how the elderly or disabled would find this invaluable. So, there are some helper bots out there made for people who actually need them, as opposed to those of us who would like 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.