T he Internet of Things is a concept that encompasses all the smart appliances and systems in a home or building that connect to the internet and can communicate with each other. While this system seemed more like an SF movie thing in the past, more people are starting to enjoy the benefits of the new technology. Thus, traditional homes are turned into smart houses, and new homes are built to be able to support these complex networks.
Home automation is still young, but things are evolving faster than you would think. Every day, a new robot is presented, so it has become a bit unclear what is already available and what’s still to be developed and produced. To shed some light on this subject, we’ve selected a series of robots you can use today to make your life easier. We’ve also dedicated a part of the article to the technology that could be available in the following years, so stay with us to see what AI companies are preparing.
What Is Home Automation?
The term used to define a home that is assisted by robots is usually ‘smart home’. Nonetheless, home automation means more than that. It implies the existence of a central controller like a hub or a smartphone to which the devices connect through the Internet using a universal app. Thus, it allows full control of all the systems and robots inside the house.
Home automation includes:
- Lighting control
- Temperature control
- Audio and video control
- Security management
- Home robot control
Home Robots That Can Make Your Life Easier Today
To automatize your house, you need to start by ensuring the base structure to support the system. Thus, you’ll need to make sure you can provide multiple WiFi access points throughout the house, preferable active points that can switch as the robot goes from one room to another. You should also check if the bandwidth is broad enough to cover all the operations efficiently, as well as to ensure that the router signal is strong enough to go through the walls and possible insulation layers.
Once you’ve solved all these, you can start shopping for robots that will make your daily chores easier to handle. Here are some of the most common.
The times when you had to spend more than half an hour vacuuming and, then, another half an hour mopping are now history. Domestic robots have taken over these chores, and they are doing them faster and better than you ever did.
Check them out:
- Vacuum robots – equipped with advanced navigation systems, they can draw a map of your home and provide flawless cleaning in only one go. They are equipped with sensors that detect obstacles and help them avoid them. Moreover, some of these units can climb doorsteps and carpets, being able to ensure proper vacuuming for both carpets and floors. They connect to your smartphone and offer you the possibility to decide when they should run, what mode they should use, and what areas should be cleaned.
- Mop robots – yes, even automatic mopping is possible in the 21st century, and you don’t need to worry that your floors may get wrecked as a consequence of puddles being left on the floor. These units sprinkle the floor as they move, and some of them even dry the surfaces behind them. Moreover, high-quality models usually come with large water recipients that allow them to complete the job in a single run without requiring you to refill the recipient.
- Vacuum-mop combos – you can even get both operations performed by the same unit and thus save both money and time.
- Window cleaner robots – cleaning the windows is a tiring and sometimes dangerous job. Luckily, now you can leave it to a robot, which can cover huge windows or handle multiple stories glass buildings to perfection.
- Robotic pool cleaners – the pool requires periodical maintenance as well, and the good news is that you won’t have to do it yourself anymore. You just need to get a smart pool cleaner that can be controlled through an app and program it to take care of the water, cleaning it from debris and dirt. Some can even spread chlorine or other disinfectants to ensure that your pool stays safe.
- Robotic lawn mowers – the fact that they can be preprogrammed or operated remotely isn’t the only advantage they offer. In fact, many models use innovative technology to cut the grass to perfection and offer professional results.
Besides convenience, many people turn toward smart technology for the security options it provides. Thus, you can integrate a complete security system in your automated home that could include motion-sensitive cameras, smart locks, garage door openers, smart intercoms, and alarms. But what’s trending now in this field are home security robots.
A home security robot is basically a surveillance system on wheels. It comes with motion sensors that activate when something moves inside the house and direct the unit towards the specific point. It comprises high-definition cameras, microphones, and even speakers, so you can see in real-time who is inside your home, hear everything that is said and even communicate with another member of the family (or with a possible burglar, who knows).
These units are basically safeguards. Some of them are even built to run outside, keeping an eye on everything that happens on your property.
Able to follow you around the house and be prepared with useful information that can help you get some tasks done faster, these human companions can be used for a large array of operations. Moreover, they have different shapes, some looking more like some high-tech screens on wheels while others resembling human shape. They can play music, and some of them can project movies, turning every wall in the house into a cinema screen.
They are nice companions for children, as they can provide educative programs or allow them to send messages even if they cannot write yet. The robot will record the message and turn it into text, making it easier for the parents to stay in touch with their kids when they are at work. Elderly and disabled individuals could also benefit from this technology, as these robots can keep an eye on their health state and keep them company at the same time.
The Future of Home Robots
They are already doing a lot for us today, but there’s always the question ‘Could they do more?’. Or, to put it a different way, could they do better. Science has already answered these questions through robots like Sophia, which have proven to be able to mimic human gestures and facial expressions as well as to make conversation on certain topics.
The prediction is that in the following years, AI devices will be able to understand human behavior and act according to people’s preferences without any assistance from the user’s part. Thus, we may end up using health devices that can tell our health state by analyzing the waste in our toilets. Or fridges that advise us to eat healthier if we have had a little too much Coke in the past days.
The Bottom Line
History can tell that mechanization and automation have boosted the standards of life, and they are expected to do it even more. Odds are that, in the future, most people will have at least a few robots doing the chores inside their homes. Nonetheless, the impact AI will have on people’s lives is still to be determined. While some specialists are advocating for the use of robots in as many fields as possible, some see them as possible threats to privacy and information security. What we could expect is for Internet safety to improve as these systems evolve so we can rely on them to make our lives more convenient without exposing our private info to hackers.