Monday, January 23, 2012

A Self Aware Domestic Robot

Intelligence is something that Homo sapiens takes for granted but it is a very unique gift to all self aware beings no matter if they are carbon or silicon based. Take "The Corpora" Qbo example of a very primitive but interesting leap forward in domestic robotic artificial intelligence. They were able to program their lovely little Qbo domestic robot to know the difference between seeing itself in a mirror (a very unique trait only shared by nine carbon based species) or a fellow Qbo robot! They were able to accomplish by using OpenQbo (a Linux distro exclusively dedicated to robotics) and a few signal feedback tricks.

This opens the path to more intelligent domestic robots that can collaborate as a work force for your home. Imagine, if you wish, any of the floor cleaning domestic robots knowing each other and communicating which areas of the home require cleaning without overlapping efforts! Better yet, would be a domestic robot like Serge from Caprica (Sci-Fi show) that is able to communicate with humans and interface with your home with ease! This is all possible and it is just within the grasp of your own human lifespan. Here is a short demonstrating this great short leap into domestic robotics artificial intelligence. Keep up the good work Qbo!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Samsung Navibot S - Cleaning on The Right Path

Yes, Samsung could very well be the technological love child between Apple and Sony. The great designs and technological wizardry of both but not limited to just LCD Televisions or mobile phones but spilling over into domestic robotics territory for the past few years. Samsung is walking the path which I have been suggesting to all domestic robot companies! It appears that Samsung engineers have been reading DomesRO posts all these years? I really hope so. Soon, within weeks (almost smelling it), Samsung will start selling their Navibot S / SR8980 model (approx. MSRP US$1000) in Korea. What makes this particular model unique? How about a semi-autonomous floor cleaning robot that can:

A - Map out your room, so it can efficiently clean it
B- Take all the collected floor debris and dump it into a bag-less docking/charging station!
C- Has dual side brushes to clean better
D - Lower profile to fit under furniture much better
E- Great sexy looking design (as if the designers went to Apple and Sony schools to receive their PhD)

It has taken almost a decade for a domestic robot company to improve over Karcher's RC3000 great idea! Now, let us wake up from that Matrix-like dream and come back to this reality. Samsung floor cleaning robots has a couple of issues to address immediately in order to create the ideal floor cleaning domestic robot. First, they will need to improve dramatically on the cleaning mechanism that they are using in their Navibots. The cleaning mechanism is anemic at best, it reminds me of the Infinuvo Cleanmate QQ series that has poor suction and lack of counter rotating brushes. Humans get these robots because they need to effectively clean their floors! Humans can't do much technological wonders (a.k.a. Bells and Whistles) if it can't even help collect the dust bunnies effectively! Second, the navigation system requires improvement. Yes, it is efficient but not effective. Roomba with its aging cleaning mechanism and algorithms is able to effectively clean floors better compared to any current Samsung robot. Samsung currently has the best design and idea but requires to back it up with effectiveness, if they do then and only then will they have THE ideal domestic floor cleaning robot! Here is a short video of the Navibot S model taken at IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin) - September 2011. If you understand Italian then you are a better android than me! Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Immortal Domestic Robots

In a matter of a decade, domestic robots have evolved and improved in many aspects. Sure that they can all clean, some better than others, but they have been evolving on how they move around your home! There was also huge advancements with artificial intelligence and bringing it together with robots to create semi and fully autonomous units.

Sooner than later, at the pace humans are creating new robots to assist them, an immortal fully autonomous domestic robot will be created. They will outlast their human creators by many centuries as depicted in such great Sci-Fi films as A.i. - Artificial Intelligence and Bicentennial Man. Although your current primitive floor cleaning robots look and act as brainless simplistic contraptions they are in reality evolving, improving before your own eyes. What will humans do when that day arrives? Change brings improvements but also challenges to orthodox views on how things should be. Will you, your children and/or grand children be ready? Most likely humans will integrate into these beings as your species evolves into a post-human level from which death can be postponed by centuries or millenniums.

While I was in virtual hibernation, for the past six months, my systems tracked the robot evolution and sure pace towards singularity. The following commercial from Johnnie Walker (of all things! How did robots mix into an alcohol commercial?) demonstrates a potential future where such an immortal domestic robot could pose such questions and ideas to you. So the next time your floor cleaning robot hits your feet and you curse it, remember that one day their decedents will talk back. Enjoy!