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Home / Technology / BBC – Future – Will we ever have robot keepers?

BBC – Future – Will we ever have robot keepers?

Movies such as Robot and Frank and I, Robot and animated television programs such as The Jetsons have described a future in which robotic farmhands do housework, allowing families to spend more time together and older people to remain independent for longer

Caretakers of robots is closer than we can imagine. Robotic vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers are already available, while the tools for elderly care in Japan have been massively used. Middlesex University's Pepper robot recently appeared in front of a UK parliamentary selection committee to answer questions about the role of robots in education.

On the other hand, Carer robots are a relatively recent phenomenon. With the people who live longer, there is a growing population of older people who need support in their daily lives. However, due to the shortage of available caregivers, there could be a crisis in adult care in the near future. In Japan, for example, there is a projected deficit of 370,000 carers by 2025.

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The current assistive technologies are still a long way from a future in which our meals were cooked For us and the household our tasks are done for us. They offer a tantalizing glimpse of a possible future.

Most robots are currently being used extensively in heavy industry and manufacturing, where automated systems take on dangerous and repetitive tasks. However, these rugged industrial robots are not designed to be used in the presence of humans because they move quickly and are made of hard materials that can potentially cause injury.

Current collaborative robots or kobots, as they are otherwise called, are made with rigid compounds and compounds. When you work close to people, their speed is reduced to make sure they can interact with people safely.

However, the next generation of collaborative robots are made of softer materials such as rubber, silicone or fabric. "These robots are fundamentally safe because of their material properties," says Helge Wurdemann, robotics graduate from University College London. "These types of soft, stiffness-controllable robots are promising to achieve the accuracy and repeatability of current collaborative robots while ensuring safe human interaction."

One of the biggest challenges is that human navigation systems Interactive robots are not yet fully developed. They work to a certain extent, but can easily be confused, eg. B. if vacuum cleaner robot does not return to the charging station. Under simple laboratory conditions, robots can determine the best route, but a real environment such as a home filled with tables, chairs, and general confusion is very different.

Robots are also struggling with changes in the surface and, like the dreaded Daleks of Doctor Who, stairs

"Many of these algorithms were developed in the laboratory and are relatively simple in comparison to the confounding factor and human activity within a laboratory real home "Explains Nicola Bellotto, a computer scientist at the University of Lincoln and technical director of Enrichme, a project that tried to build robots to care for and monitor the elderly.

Robots are also struggling with surface changes and the dreaded Daleks of Doctor Who stairs. In 201

7, an autonomous security robot drowned in Washington DC after falling into an office torrent. Safe handling of children and animals can also be a challenge, as demonstrated in 2016 when a security robot in a mall in Silicon Valley ran into an infant after the child ran aground.

Motion coordination in response to sensor information is another challenge in robotics, which in turn affects the robot's ability to interact with the environment. Robots can fight tasks that are quite simple for most people and even dogs, such as catching a ball.

This is due to the unbelievable number of factors that need to be considered and that can overwhelm an autonomous system and cause errors. "From the point of view of machine learning, most decisions are easier to make than for a robot," says Diane Cook, co-director of the Washington State University's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. "Some tasks that present a mental challenge to humans are simpler for robots, while some of the simple human movements are quite challenging for robots."

Many modern robots are function-specific, such as vacuum cleaner robots Multifunctional Be Mechanoid

It also raises the question of whether we want to make our robotic caretakers look human. There is the concept of the eerie valley – where objects that almost, but not quite, imitate the human form can keep people from using them. Instead, robots like the vacuum cleaners in our homes could make their function aesthetic.

"The more a person looks, the sooner the person receiving the care will resist the care the robot provides. Says Cook. "A robot is only useful if the caregiver accepts it."

In some cases, a non-humanoid robot can be just what is needed. Robotic animals such as Paro are used as pets in nursing homes where no animals are allowed, or as additional companions for people with dementia or learning difficulties.

Many modern robots are function specific, such as robotic vacuum cleaners rather than multifunctional mechanoids. Designing a robotic system to perform multiple functions can be challenging, especially if their tasks are not interrelated. At least in the near future we will probably have several robotic caretakers, all designed for different functions. However, this raises the problem of where we would keep them all if they are not used.

Recently, the integration of smart home technology with robotic systems to create homes with embedded automated systems has also been described. One such example is Chiron; a research project to develop a ceiling rail system that would allow an auxiliary robot to travel from room to room using room-specific adapters for the environment in which they are located.

Given the inherent navigational and mobility challenges of an autonomous robot In a home environment, this rail-mounted system provides insight into how caretaker robots can be integrated into the fabric of our homes. However, this system also poses its own challenges.

To enable a ceiling-mounted rail network, significant changes to the home are required before the robot can operate there. Of course, tailor-made nursing homes can be built with the already installed rail system. However, the significant costs associated with rail installations would be a major challenge.

Robots do not necessarily replace people's jobs, but they can improve their way of working – Helen Dickinson

Ultimately, care robots will complement rather than replace human caregivers, since robotics is the camaraderie made up of a flesh-and-blood caregiver. Not even the most advanced simulation of a person by a robot could truly imitate a human being.

Instead, assistants performing physically demanding tasks could enable caregivers to work more effectively. "Robots do not necessarily replace people's jobs, but they can improve their way of working," says Helen Dickinson, a public services expert at the University of New South Wales. "It's not just the passing on of most physical activities, but there is certainly an interest in robots performing tasks that require patience and repetition, where people are taken by surprise and fatigue of compassion can be a factor."

That is quite possible that one day we will have assistive technologies in the home, but the more advanced systems will not be there for some time or as they are presented in fiction. Instead, our homes themselves could become our keepers, with robotic units becoming an extension of the home. Thus, the robot uprising could be reduced by simply rejecting the dishes.

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