Robots & TV to be Big in 2006!

Posted 25 Oct 2005 at 03:33 UTC by The Swirling Brain Share This

The BBC has a future looking article that predicts that robots and TV will be big in 2006! Robotic vacuums are already big, but the The American-based Consumer Electronic Association predicts that domestic robots will control home networks, sort laundry and scrub the kitchen floor and are likely to be sold in much the same way as other household appliances. The CEA also said that household robotics won't be mass marketed until the prices drop to that of other labor-saving appliances and are proved to be reliable and effective. Oh yeah, and they talked about TV and some other stuff too.

Irresponsible Hype?, posted 26 Oct 2005 at 17:52 UTC by Nelson » (Journeyer)

Thanks for pointing out that article. I think that it is a prime example of irresponsible hype in the media about robotics.

I followed the links and read the CEA chapter on robotics.

Yes, robotics is definitely a consumer technology to watch, but the BBC employees did not appear to actually read the report before writing the "Robotics big in 2006" headlines.

The CEA surveyed consumers (not robotics experts or even engineers), 57% of whom thought that they would be purchasing a domestic robot in the next 10 years.

The CEA report also listed the 10 most disliked household chores, but the author of the CEA report went on to suggest that robots would soon be up to tasks such as sorting laundry. Clearly the author was not thought through technical hurdles such as:

1. Perception - identifying 3D grasp locations for of a jumble of clothes, reading washing instruction tags, determining if garments (such as socks) are inside-out, recognition of stains that require special pre-treatment, ... 2. Manipulation/Planning - Grasping and arranging non-rigid fabrics, turning clothes inside out, balancing the washing machine load...

I also feel that the CEA report was very misleading about the capabilities of ASIMO - all of the demonstrated "skills" that they list are only function in such constrained circumstances that they are essentially impractical.

I think that there are many promising areas for near-term applications of roboitics, such as smart automobiles, aerospace, and military systems. I suspect that general household applications are much further off...

See more of the latest robot news!

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