When we have a normal home helper robots?
Some movies - "Robot and Frank," "I, Robot" cartoons - show a future where robots servants do the work the maids, babysitters, nannies, tutors, allowing families to spend more time together, and the elderly - to remain independent longer. Future-guardians robots closer than we might imagine. Robot cleaners and robot mowers are available, and in Japan there is a boom of assistive technology for elderly care.
Not long ago, Middlesex University robot Pepper presented before the Parliamentary Committee of the UK to respond to questions about the role of robots in education.
Robots guardians, on the other hand, is a relatively recent phenomenon. As people live longer, the number of elderly people who need assistance in daily life. However, the lack of available carers means that in the near future we are waiting for the crisis entirely on the adult caregiver. In the same Japan, it is estimated that in 2025 will lack 370,000 caregivers.
Although modern assistive technology is still far from a future in which our dishes are prepared yourself, and all the household chores can hurt us, why do not we try to see what will be the future.
Most robots are now widely used in heavy industry and in the manufacture, where dangerous and repetitive tasks better carried out using automated systems. However, these are not tired industry are not intended for use in the presence of people as move quickly and are made of hard materials that can lead to injury. Modern "kollaboratsionnye robots" or koboty, as they are called, are made with stiff joints and connections. Working in close proximity to the people, they are moving at a limited speed to no one harm.
However, the next generation of robots will kollaboratsionnyh made of softer materials, such as rubber, silicon, or fabric. "These robots are inherently safe, thanks to the properties of the materials from which they are made," says Helg Vyurdemann, robotics at University College London. "This kind of soft robots controlled rigidity must achieve accuracy and repetition of existing kobotov and at the same time ensure secure communication with the people."
One of the biggest problems is that the navigation systems for robots interacting with humans is not yet fully developed. They work to a certain extent, but it is easy to baffle - like robotic vacuum cleaners, which can not go back to the charging station. In simple laboratory robots can determine the best route, but in the real world, in a house full of tables, chairs and other stuff, all very different.
"Many of these algorithms have been developed in the laboratory and are relatively simple compared to the chaos and activity of people in the real house," explains Nicola Bellotto, informatics Lincoln University and the Technical Manager Enrichme, the project, which is trying to build robots for the care and monitoring of elderly people.
The robots are not quite cope with the rugged terrain, and some of the stairs. In 2017, the autonomous security robot drowned in Washington after falling down the stairs in the office fountain. Safe operation in the presence of children and animals can also be a problem, as was demonstrated in 2016, when the security robot knocked the baby in a shopping center in Silicon Valley after the child ran to meet him. Coordination of movement in response to sensory information - also a problem for the robot, which limits their ability to interact with the environment. Robots can not cope with the challenges that most people and even dogs sometimes quite easy to manage - for example, to catch the ball.
This is due to the incredible number of factors that must be considered and that might overload the autonomous system and cause errors. "From the point of view of machine learning, most of the decisions a person to accept more easily than a robot," said Diane Cook, co-director of the Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Washington. "Some problems that are mentally challenging for a person easier to run the robot, whereas some simple movement for people is quite complicated for robots."
The guardians of the "uncanny valley"
There is also the question of whether we want our robots guardians were similar to humans. There is a concept of the "uncanny valley" when objects are very close, but still not fully mimic the human form and cause the most consternation. Somewhere on the verge of transition there is something artificial that literally repels us from humanoid robots. Instead, like a robot cleaner in our homes, robots can be aesthetically designed in accordance with their functions.
"The more it looks like a person, the more people will resist under the tutelage of a robot. The robot will be useful only if the person is under the care of his will. "
In some cases, non-human robot may be just what you need. Robotic animals such as Paro, beginning to be used as pets in homes care that do not allow the presence of animals, or as additional companions for people with dementia. Many of today's robots are functionally oriented, such as robotic vacuum cleaners, but not multifunctional. The development of a robotic system to perform multiple functions can be daunting, especially if the problem is not related. At least in the near future we are likely to appear a few robots guardians, performing different functions. However, a problem arises: where we will store them until they are used?
Ultimately, the robot guardians will complement rather than replace the people who care for others, because the robots can never replace the companionship of man of flesh and blood. Even the most advanced simulation of human robot will not be able to imitate the human hair's breadth.
However, the good thing to wash the dishes and vacuuming the floor is not too difficult for the robots. And do not lazy. And you trust a robot?
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