So what exactly household robots are and what do they do? You probably have heard something about three D's - Dull, Dirty and Dangerous. This is a designation for jobs that are usually entrusted to robots. Maybe chores are not very dangerous but they can be rather dirty and dull.
Of course, not everything in a household can be done by robots, at least not yet. Still, there are jobs where robot application can be justified at the moment. There are two main criteria that should be met when thinking about buying a household robot.
At first, you should find out how effectively a robot can do its job. The robot's efficiency should be high enough for your specific application. Different applications could require different levels of efficiency.
Second, a robot's use should be economically justifiable. Maybe it's cheaper to pay someone to do the job than to buy a robot. This goes more to commercial applications like shop or pool cleaning. Of course, the time you spend to clean a room also counts.
By weighing out at least these two criteria it is possible to find the best price-value bargain. Human emotions also come in the equation. If you really, really want a household robot there's no reason why you should prohibit something to yourself.
So what exactly are those jobs that household robots are able to do at the moment? Let me tell you.
In my opinion, robotic vacuum cleaners are the most known household robots to general public. It's so because of the most known of all vacuuming robots - iRobot Roomba . This company sure knows how to put their products on the market.
Nevertheless, roomba is not the only one. There are many vacuuming robots in a wide price range for different applications made by different companies. Read more on robotic vacuums here.
Although vacuuming is the most known application, robots are not limited to it. There are robots that can sweep floors such as the iRobot Dirt Dog and robots that can wash floors like roomba's sibling - iRobot Scooba as well.
Anyone has something they have to watch for. For example a dog - are you sure that he doesn't sit on a couch when you are not home? Well... Now you can log on your surveillance robot using the internet and shout to your dog to get off the couch.
They can have more capabilities also - like playing mp3's and other handy things when you are home. Two most known mobile webcams are Spykee made by Meccano/Erector and Rovio made by WowWee. Read a summary on mobile webcams here.
Remember I talked about three D's? Well, I think gutter cleaning could fit all three of them. You have to reposition the ladder many times, you can fall off them and the job is definitely dirty. This sounds like a perfect job for a robot to me.
Although the justification of robot's application for this job is quite clear, at the moment I am aware of only one gutter cleaning robotic solution. That would be Looj made by iRobot.
This job seems quite similar to vacuuming only outdoor and in a bigger scale, right? If there are many vacuuming robots there should be many robotic lawn mowers too. Well, that is right. Lawn mowing could be the second largest robot application in a household.
As I said, there are many lawn mower robots made by different companies. There are not so expensive solutions for your home lawn. And there are also rather expensive robots for more serious commercial applications like golf clubs and other sports fields.
Pools are nice and offer you a lot of joyful moments when you can use it for recreation. However, cleaning them is not so nice. Of course, you can always pay someone to do the job but a robotic pool cleaner could be a cheaper solution.
Usually, robotic pool cleaners can clean the pool from floor to waterline and also filter the water for leaves and other things. This way owning a pool is made nearly hassle free.
Well, I'm not really sure if these devices can be called robots but they do a dirty job. The idea is simple - a cat does its thing in the litter robot which can detect when a cat leaves. When it happens it will roll cat's things off the surface into a special compartment.
I'm not really sure how it's possible to get a cat into it. They can be rather independent and proud beings.
Of course, you can't buy friends at a store. But there are robots that can entertain you in your daily duties that can be viewed as borderline toys.
The possible device range is quite large. There are robots that can follow you around and entertain. There are robots that can wake you up and run away and hide from you - more like wheeled alarm clocks. There are also PC-based robots that you can assemble and program as you wish.
There are some other robots that could be regarded as household robots. Many of them are in development stage and many that can't really do something useful. Of course, toy robots can also be counted into this type. However, here I focus primarily on robots that can do chores and other useful things for us.
You should have some insight on household robots now. I'll further expand this section so that every section leads to an article.