Gateway Robots?

The Consumer Electronics Show is all about robots this year… but industrial robots aren’t getting the attention. Collaborative home robots, robots pets, and companion robots are getting the attention. You could even say that they’re getting the love. Consider Lovot, the robot designed to cure the problem of loneliness.

Lovot is not useful, its makers say, though it can take on surveillance duties. It is about the same temperature as a human being, has big, appealing eyes, and is programmed to show increasing amounts of love. It’s shy when it first meets a new person, but it gradually makes eye contact and responds to people as it gets to know them.

There will be robot cats and dogs, Pepper and a robotic companion will demonstrate robot retail abilities, and robots will do housework… inefficiently. Foldimate, for example, is “like a friend who likes to fold laundry,” according to the makers. We’re not sure what that means. However, we learned that we can carefully pick up, straighten out, and clip a piece of laundry into Foldimate’s clips in “a couple of seconds.” Foldimate will then fold the item in about 20 seconds. The human has to stand near Foldimate through the process, picking up, straightening, and clipping the items as Foldimate tediously folds the laundry. This collaboration allows us to get a 25-item load of laundry folded in five minutes, and Foldimate may cost as little as $1,000 when it gets to market.

Or there’s the “baby tech craze,” which includes bluetooth-empowered pacifiers but also robot childcare workers like iPal. iPal has an iPad in place of a heart, can play Rock Paper Scissors, and is said to keep kids engaged for a couple of hours without adult input.

However you feel about robot babysitters, cute home robots could have the effect of decreasing people’s fear of robots. Americans often fear robots (it’s right up there with clowns among our national phobias). How can you fear a cuddly little creature like a robot puppy?

The next step could be comfort with industrial robots.

If your industrial robots use electric motion control systems from Rexroth, put our number into your contacts list now. We specialize in Rexroth drive and control, and we can get your facility back and and running fast.



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