Monday, March 3, 2008
Robots : Autonomous machines?
There has always been the discussion of what a robot is or what it should be. Robots are/can be an electromechanical machine that has human manual intervention or a fully autonomous system with no or very minimal human intervention. A good example is the difference between Irobot's Roomba and Karcher's Robo Cleaner 3000, both clean your floors in a similar fashion but that is were the similarities stop. The Roomba needs constant human intervention, the owner has to clean out the dust/particle bin, air filter and remove accumulated hair from it's burshes in order for the robot to function efficiently. The Robo Cleaner 3000 only needs for the owner to start it and change the dust/particle bag from it's charging base once every so often. The Robo Cleaner 3000 is able to clean the same floors, get back to it's base to dump the collected dust/particles while it charges it's batteries so it can return cleaning. The owners of the Karcher robot do not need to be bothered often and their floors will remain as clean as the iRobot Roomba. Robotics for mundane tasks should be fully automated, otherwise the mundane tasks just change form and no progress has been gained by using robotics. Karcher engineers are in the right track for domestic robotics, hope that others follow this path as well.