Rise of the home robots
Mon 27 Feb 2023
Paul Bennett, Director
The ascendancy of robots in the home hasn’t been as rapid as once predicted – much to the disappointment of the Behr & Butchoff team here in St. John’s Wood!
The vision portrayed in The Jetsons – a cartoon depicting the future and first screened in the 1960s – has failed to materialise. In the show, the Jetson family had a robot called Rosey. She was the maid and housekeeper, who cleaned from top-to-bottom and was able to operate domestic appliances.
Now, experts have stuck their head above the parapet to declare that almost 40% of domestic tasks could be completed by robots ‘within a decade’. If you’re wondering what chores you may be able to hand over to your very own Rosey robot, read on.
The 65 specialists from University of Oxford and Japan's Ochanomizu University said shopping was most likely to become more automated, with the time we spend on grocery procurement potentially reducing by an estimated 60%. Sadly, Behr & Butchoff found no evidence of a robot capable of putting out the bins.
Progress is being made, however. In terms of advancements in the future, robot technology can generally be grouped into three areas: artificial intelligence (AI); virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). AI is an aspect many of us have already become familiar with, as smart devices, including Alexa, Siri and the Amazon Echo products, fall into the conversational AI category.
The experts questioned felt it was the listening capabilities of smart devices that would feature heavily looking forwards. They flagged up the ability to tune into human conversations to shape a robot’s responses or action as a potential perk when it came to domestic tasks – but it’s technology that also presents privacy problems.
If you can’t wait until 2033, when you should be able to hand over more chores to an electronic assistant, you could invest in some of the technology that’s currently available. In fact, you may already be using AR. If you’ve ever used the Dulux Decorator App, or the Ikea Place App, you’re benefiting from the world of augmented reality.
If you’re moving home and need to design each room from scratch, you can also tap into an AI-powered interior design package. MoodFit’s online design quiz feels easy on the surface but it uses powerful algorithms and AI behind the scenes to determine a customer’s ideal style and to make décor suggestions.
The Behr & Butchoff team is still amazed at the accuracy of today’s robot vacuums. Sophisticated sensors and automatic AI learning create smart navigational paths, and the devices can even take themselves back to their dock when they need recharging.
If you’ve resisted the world of robot vacuums, you may be unaware that you can now buy robot mops too. Similar in size and style to their vacuum counterparts, robot mops can be dispatched to the site of a spill by using a voice-controlled smart device (such as Alexa, mop in front of the fridge) or programmed to automatically clean all hard floors. Today’s devices can even suggest customised cleaning schedules, such as offering extra mops during pollen season. Of course, the experts have also found a way to combine vacuuming and mopping, so dual-function floor robots can also be bought.
Manufacturers quickly realised the same technology used to power automatic floor cleaners could be applied outside, and the robot mower was born. The same scanning and AI knowhow allows robot mowers to clip grass and create perfection, without falling into the pond.
Lesser known robotic developments for the home include the Grillbot – an automatic BBQ grill cleaner; indoor home security ‘bots - video robots that use embedded AI to patrol rooms and send footage to an app; and Gecko from Gladwell, which is one of many robotic window cleaners available for intuitive, hands-free glass cleaning.
If you’d like a new home to fill with the latest automated technology, please contact the estate agents at Behr & Butchoff. We can share the latest homes for sale and to rent in St. John’s Wood, and also help you let or sell a property you currently own.