iRobot and Helen Greiner: Roomba & Pakbot

A coiled and concealed OC Robotics snake-arm with fully functioning skin would be the finishing touch to this very impressive commercially available robot, and for that matter the Roomba could do with a snake-arm too, it could hoover up flies and spiders whilst doing the tops of skirting boards and gaps in radiators – come to think of it, maybe iRobot could do with a few international competitors?

iRobot is the company who also make the Roomba, the robotic vacuum cleaner which has been commercially available for some time now. The president and co-founder of iRobot, Helen Greiner (MIT) has been particularly sceptical regarding humanoid robots and after a month of concerted research I’m beginning to agree with her views. The biggest concern of course is space, how long would it take for the average family take to get annoyed with a human sized domestic helper whizzing around cleaning up after everyone, living space is clearly at a premium and surely will become even more so, particularly in large cities like Tokyo, New York, London etc – where would you keep/put it? Asimov’s concept of an adult sized ‘humanoid robot for everyone’ seen in the iRobot film seems somewhat fanciful and completeley impractical for the future home.

I think ZORG may have a point?

On second thoughts I forgot about cars, I’m sure until Henry Ford came along the idea that everyone would have a car was preposterous?

Now that would be an exciting collaboration, a domestic humanoid robot that also transforms into a mode of automated, GPS enabled, hydrogen powered, single occupancy transport. I wonder if that’s what ASIMO will become?


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