Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Six Reasons Why and When I Would Want an In-home Robot?

I continue to read and hear about the forecasts regarding the future adoption and use of social and collaborative robots in the home.  That ‘someday’ they will do ‘this’, or, provide ‘such and such’, all of which sounds very exciting and enticing.

But the fundamental question remains: “Why do I even want, let alone need an in-home robot?”
Setting the entire cost/price/value discussion aside for the moment, I suppose that there are a series of easy potential cultural and social answers.

Such as:
I enjoy technology in any form or fashion.
I think it adds a dimension of convenience.
It makes me feel not alone, more secure.

I am not insensitive to the needs for smarter assisted living technologies for the elderly. However, in this instance, I am addressing the demand from the general population.

In the past I easily understood the need for robots. We already have robots to wash dishes, wash clothes, dry clothes, vacuum, cut grass and plow snow. On reflection, I recall that I didn’t know why I would want a microwave oven when it was first introduced but I do now. But it took a while.
Reflect upon that today, a robot enters the “smart home scene” already preceded and surrounded by ‘voice-activated info boxes’, smart TV screens, security cameras, smart doorbells, mobile smartphones, mobile computer tablets. What would a robot uniquely add to this mixture? 

Essentially, it seems to me that the robot would need to be more than a computer tablet on wheels. Although, that might even prove convenient to some for the robot to hold the tablet, carry it and follow them around.

However, to add a new dimension to the existing ‘smart home’ equation, six robot functions come to mind. It would need to:

1. Be drivable around the house from a remote location.
2. Come and find you when something needs to happen or has happened.
3. Be able to go find and fetch things.
4.  Have a storage compartment to store and carry things.
5. Have a common base platform with interchangeable components so as to be re-configurable for different in home purposes.
6. Interact/integrate with any of the ‘smart-devices’ already in place.
If these conditions were met, I believe many people would be inclined to add an in-home robot. Would you?
Have additional ideas on what would motivate you to buy an in-home robot? Do let me know at mike@chartacloud.com. Mike is Chairman of the Technology Advisory Board at ChartaCloud.