WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
Housework is boring, robots are awesome, and soon you can bring that awesomeness home.
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When I was compiling Samsung’s centennial Life in 2070 report to celebrate their fiftieth birthday and the opening of their giant King’s Cross store in London, one of the questions we asked the public was what new technology they’d like to see invented. And the top answer? “A robot to do the housework.” A year on and guess what Samsung have unveiled at CES 2021 … you guessed it – a robot that does the housework! Polls work, who knew!?
Unveiled this week Samsung’s robotic household helper can pick up laundry, lay the table, load the dishwasher and bring you a glass of wine at the end of a hard day. Personally, I’m a fan of anything that makes our lives easier, especially housework when we’re all locked in thanks COVID-19, so a robot that can load the dishwasher and serves wine, while another robot does the vacuuming, sounds awesome.
Not coming to a home near you soon: Samsung's Handy robot is the most complicated way of getting your plates from the sink to the dishwasher possible. But it highlights AI advances being made to make it possible for robots to grasp different types of objects – which are v clever. pic.twitter.com/GCaXnuOm3w
— Leo Kelion (@LeoKelion) January 11, 2021
According to Sebastian Seung, president of Samsung Research, the handy bot is meant to be “an extension of you in the kitchen, living room, and anywhere else you may need an extra hand in your home.”
The tall, thin black and white robot has two large digital eyes to express emotion. It also has a single arm, with three joints allowing it to lift and move items. The robot uses cameras mounted to the body and AI to recognise objects and complete chores.
However, not everyone is a fan of the new development. On This Morning, Holly Willougby and Phil Schofield joked that the new technology was going to take over our homes.
“I mean this is all going to go terribly wrong,” said Holly. “One day we are going to come down, and it’s going to take over your house and kill us, isn’t it.”
“It’s gonna lock us out! One day it will lock us out, and we’ll find out it is just sitting in its pants watching the telly,” added Phil.
However, the pair did agree that there were some aspects of the Robot helper they’d find handy. Although Phil was reluctant to let it go near his dishwasher, revealing he has a very particular way of stacking things.
Before you start adding the handy bot to your wishlist though it isn’t clear when the product will be available to buy. The robot has been described as being “in development” still.
The Consumer Electronics Show which runs every year in Las Vegas is often used to demo futuristic-looking robots that are more concept than a buyable product. We could have a long wait on our hands before we see this in our homes. In the meantime though I’m keeping my fingers crossed and my dishwasher’s waiting to be filled – it might be a very long time before I get around to it though so roll on robots!