Robotics for Everyone: social robots. Are we ready?

Robotics for Everyone: social robots.

At the end of September, Amazon announced the Astro companion robot, which is essentially a pet replacement – it can move around the house, bring things and guard the house. Meanwhile, the first robots for the home appeared back in the 80s of the last century.

In 1982, Heathkit released the HERO educational robot, which, according to The Verge, is the first home machine. Its main task was to teach the user the basics of robotics.

In fact, it was sold disassembled and the buyer had to assemble it himself. HERO was remote controlled, could speak and even hold a glass. Heathkit later launched a whole line of similar robots.

Three years later, the Nintendo R.O.B. was born, which helped gamers solve puzzles in games.

R.O.B. worked on batteries. It also connected to the SNES console, which was also released by Nintendo. The robot could see the TV screen and interact with the game. The device was discontinued after only two games it supported were released.

In 1999, the companion dog entered the robot market. Sony’s Aibo was to become an electronic friend for its owner.

When first turned on, Aibo was essentially a puppy whose personality changes as it gets older. How an adult robotic dog would behave was completely up to the user. Sony has argued that Aibo can play and run around the house if properly trained – otherwise it will just sleep all day.

It is worth noting that there were enough robots like Aibo. For example, in 2004 Paro was released.

The belek robot performs the same function as normal therapy animals. The small artificial seal can hear, see, feel and imitate the sounds of a real cub.

In 2018, anyone could buy Anki Vector, which looks like a robot from the Wall-E cartoon, only in miniature.

It was created purely for entertainment and could play games with the user, dance and make faces. In addition, a voice assistant was built into the robot.
If robotic dogs appeared in the late 90s of the last century, then the first robotic cats were developed only in 2019.

The Chinese company Elephant Robotics has created the MarsCat robot, whose mission is simply to be a cat. As noted by the creators, the device can respond to voice, play and “scratch”.
In the summer of 2021, a full-fledged human robot was announced – next year Tesla is going to release its own anthropomorphic robot, which looks like the cars from the movie “I, Robot”.

The tasks of the social robot will include physical assistance and performing routine tasks. However, despite the fact that Tesla Bot is designed to be friendly, the company still designs it in such a way that a person can escape in case of danger and defeat the car with brute force.

To date, there are an incredible number of variations of various robots. Social robots help to socialize children, old people, people with disabilities. But the sphere of their application is not yet very widespread. This is often due to the rejection of robots by humans. We previously wrote about the “Evil Valley” effect – the consequences of the fact that robots that are too similar in appearance to humans cause fear and rejection. But if robots are developed in a nicer shell, then the attitude towards them will change. If we add here various functionality, lack of fatigue, and other positive qualities, we can safely say: Yes! We are ready! Robotics for Everyone! Jobs for Robots! Work for Robots! Hire a Robot! Rent Robots! Lease Robots! Robots for sale!

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