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May 27, 2010

Robots That Do Dishes - Soon To Be A REALITY!

Get me one... get me one....GET ME ONE..  

Those were the first words out my mouth after watching the videos and reading the stories about the Robot Graduation that happened yesterday in Silicon Valley. I understand that it will be some time before the Robots are ready for consumers, but I can wait!

OVERVIEW from the SFGate article in the Technology Chronicles section: "Touted as the first graduation party of its kind, Willow Garage in Menlo Park gave a big sendoff Wednesday evening to 11 robots worth more than $4 million.  The program is part of Willow Garage's effort to "get robots out of factories and into the real world," said Steve Cousins, president and CEO of Willow Garage. By "real world," Cousins means homes or other environments where personal robotics can assist in everyday life, such as folding laundry or helping seniors lift heavy objects."

The article also mentioned that the PR2s will be shipped off to mostly academic institutions around the world and that the robots come pre-installed with Willow Garage's free and open-source software platform, ROS.

VIDEO: Here is a video of the Robot Graduation

Here is a link to a video from Spectrum Mag that has interviews with some of the engineers - who explained the most important use of all for these robots "helping in the kitchen" (seriously - there is a big need for that).

Spectrum Mag's YouTube Channel:

I hope to be learning more about these robots, dreaming about them for many uses around my house and fascinated by the technology that runs behind the scenes. I even imagine that my three boys would have no problem listening to a robot ask them to clean their rooms, that is until they figure out how to re-program it to clean for them.


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While the creation of robots to help society is the next logical evolution in technology for consumers, I always wonder just how far we as a people are willing to go to obtain greater convienence (or just to make money). Having robots to do the dishes would be nice, I'm sure, but would that just be the beginning of eliminating daily necessary chores that help create and maintain work discipline in our children...or even ourselves?

And besides, didn't we as a movie-going society learn our lessons about robots from the Terminator 1-3 movies? ^_^

Dark Vallkyrie-
I think you have been watching too many movies. The robots are an amazing creation - and there are many important uses for them. I don't think that robots in the kitchen will set off children around the world losing responsibility. Learning responsibility for children is more then doing dishes - it is a way of life.

I say we celebrate technology - and leave the conspiracy theories for the movies.

WOW! this are amazing robots! i'm actually not that what you call a "tech guy" but when i saw this videos, man! it awesome and amazing! love the new technology so much! yay!

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