Domestic robot

First generation Roomba vacuums the carpets in a domestic environment

A domestic robot is a type of service robot, an autonomous robot that is primarily used for household chores, but may also be used for education, entertainment or therapy. Thus far, there are only a few limited models, though speculators, such as Bill Gates, have suggested that they could become more common in the future.[1] Breakthroughs[2][3][4] in universal picking[5], the ability for robots to rapidly and reliably grasp a diverse range of products, are responsible for enabling domestic robots to excel in tasks requiring dexterous manipulation of household objects previously thought to be too difficult for robots to grasp. While most domestic robots are simplistic, some are connected to WiFi home networks or smart environments and are autonomous to a high degree due to advances in fog computing and fog robotics. There were an estimated 3,540,000 service robots in use in 2006, compared with an estimated 950,000 industrial robots.[6]

Indoor robots

This type of domestic robot does chores around and inside homes. Different kinds include:

Robotic vacuum cleaners and floor-washing robots that clean floors with sweeping and wet mopping functions. Some use Swiffer or other disposable cleaning cloths to dry-sweep, or reusable microfiber cloths to wet-mop.

Within the ironing robots, Dressman is a mannequin to dry and iron shirts using hot air[7]. Other ones also includes manneqin for down parts (pants, trousers and skirts). More advanced ones fold and organizes the clothes, as Laundroid (using image analysis and artificial intelligence), Effie (irons 12 items of clothing at once) and FoldiMate.

Cat litter robots are automatic self-cleaning litter boxes that filter clumps out into a built-in waste receptacle that can be lined with an ordinary plastic bag.

Kitchen robots include Rotimatic (which makes rotis, tortillas, puris out of flour in just few minutes) and Moley Robotics MK1.

Security robots such as Knightscope have a night-vision-capable wide-angle camera that detects movements and intruders. It can patrol places and shoot video of suspicious activities, too, and send alerts via email or text message; the stored history of past alerts and videos are accessible via the Web. The robot can also be configured to go into action at any time of the day.[8]

Atlas is a robot built to perform in house task such as sweeping, opening doors, climbing stairs, etc. Robots such as Atlas can be utilized to making the average person's day just that much more interesting and easy.[9]

Outdoor robots

A robotic lawn mower is a lawn mower that is able to mow a lawn by itself after being programmed. Once programmed, this invention repeats the operation by itself according to its programming. Robotic lawn mowers comes with a power unit which may be an electric motor or internal combustion engine. This provides power to the robot and allows it to move itself and its cutting blades. There is also a control unit which helps the mower move itself. This unit also contains a memory unit which records and memorizes its operation programming. Its memorized route includes the length of travel in a given direction and turn angles. This allows the same lawn to be mowed repeatedly without having to reprogram. The steering unit acquires an operation signal and propels the lead wheel, which leads the mower, go guide along the programmed route.

Some models can mow complicated and uneven lawns that are up to three-quarters of an acre in size. Others can mow a lawn as large as 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2), can handle a hill inclined up to 27 degrees.[8]

There are also automated pool cleaners that clean and maintain swimming pools autonomously by scrubbing in-ground pools from the floor to the waterline in 3 hours, cleaning and circulating more than 70 US gallons (260 l) of water per minute, and removing debris as small as 2 µm in size.[8]

Gutter-cleaning robots such as Looj use brushes and rubber blades to remove debris from rain gutters; users operate the device using a remote.[10]

Window cleaning robots are most commonly used to clean outdoor windows, more specifically house windows. However, it may be used on other types of windows, such as ones on tall buildings and structures. This robot contains a movement system which allows the robot to navigate itself across the window surface in a defined direction. It also has a powered agitator located by the cleaning pad. When activated, the agitator gets rid of debris and dirt from the window surface. The cleaning pad directly interacts with the window surface and is directly responsible for removing the dirt by filling itself with specialized window cleaning fluid.

A window-washing robot commonly uses two magnetic modules to navigate windows as it sprays cleaning solution onto microfiber pads to wash them. It covers about 1,601 square feet (148.7 m2) per charge.[11][12]


Robotic toys, such as the well known Furby, have been popular since 1998. There are also small humanoid remote controlled robots. Electronic pets, such as robotic dogs, can be good companions. They have also have been used by many universities in competitions such as the RoboCup.

There are many different kind of toy robots that have been invented since the late 1900s. There were many robotic toys invented that was used for entertainment. One example that is popular known as Furby[13], a toy that children nourished every day. The toy robot, made it seem like it was alive like a pet that you have to watch on and give it attention.[13] There are many different kind of toy robots that are animal related, like, robotic dogs. Another type of robotic toy is the phone-powered robots. Using this toy, you are able to connect with your phone and control the toy while using an application. Now, robotic toys are becoming more mobile device platformed. This in turn is creating a larger demand for these types of products. The increase in demand has a direct effect on the escalation of the technology used in the toys.

There are also phone-powered robots for fun and games, such as Romo which is a small robot that employs smartphones as its brain. By using another mobile device and a cross-platform app, the user can drive it, make it produce animated facial expressions, direct it to dance, or turn it into a spybot.

Social robots

Social robots take on the function of social communication. Domestic humanoid robots are used by elderly and immobilized residents to keep them company. Wakamaru is a domestic humanoid robot developed in Japan.[14] Its function is to act as a care taker. Wakamaru has a number of operations and “can be programmed to remind patients to take their medicine and even call a doctor when it appears that someone is in distress.”[15] Paro, a robotic baby seal, is intended to provide comfort to nursing home patients.

Home-telepresence robots can move around in a remote location and let one communicate with people there via its camera, speaker, and microphone. Through other remote-controlled telepresence robots, the user can visit a distant location and explore it as if they were physically present. These robots can, among other applications, permit health-care workers to monitor patients or allow children who are homebound because of injuries, illnesses, or other physical challenges to attend school remotely. Kuri, JIBO and ConnectR are family robots that includes telepresence.[16][17][18]


Network robots link ubiquitous networks with robots, contributing to the creation of new lifestyles and solutions to address a variety of social problems including the aging of population and nursing care.[19]


Robots built for therapy have been in production for quite some time now. Some of these uses can be for autism or physical therapy. As for robots designed to help autism, authors Daniel J. Ricks and Mark B. Colton suggest that these robots will elicit and bring out specific behaviors of children, ones not previously seen before the use of these robots.[20] This shows the goals set for robots in therapy for children with autism is to help form social behaviors. A large amount of children with autism have communication issues, these robots can assist them and help them learn. They can also be used to assist adults with physical issues involving muscles or limbs.

Robots no longer in production

Early historical attempts to bring robots into the home.

Lt. Comm. Data is a Starfleet officer in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994). The episode that best explains who Data is was "The Measure of A Man", Data, an android on the U.S.S. Enterprise is on trial to determine whether or not he is truly human. Commander Maddox intends to take him away from the Enterprise crew for study purposes. His intentions are to replicate copies of him to serve other Starfleet vessels and space stations. Captain Phillipa Louvois takes the case. Commander Riker, Data's commanding officer is forced by Starfleet rules to be the plaintiff in the case. Captain Picard defends his side of being truly human. After considering a number of options, Data decide to resign as officer of the Starfleet in order to prevent the possibility of being disassembled.[21] Riker proves he is just a machine by flipping the switch to off. Data proves his humanity by still holding a picture of Lt. Tasha Yar, who got killed by an alien creature. He still has intimate feelings towards her, even though their relationship ended abruptly. Therefore, he proves to the court that he is human and not just Starfleet property. He is a human like android who serves the crew of the Enterprise. He likes to be seen as a human, not a robot.

Many cartoons feature robot maids, notably Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons. Maid Robots are especially prominent in anime (in Japanese, they are called Meido Robo or Meido Roboto), and their Artificial Intelligence ranges from rudimentary to fully sentient and emotional, while their appearance ranges from obviously mechanical to human-like.

The 2009 adaptation of Astro Boy, based on creator Osamu Tezuka's Japanese anime Tetsuwan Atomu, showcases robots with various domestic functions. Orrin, with resemblance to the comedic, gold, humanoid companion, C-3PO (cited below), plays Dr. Tenma's domestic robot performing various tasks such as housekeeping and tutoring to Dr. Tenma's son, Toby.[22]

A vignette, shown at the end of the final episode of Syfy's failed 2010 Battlestar Galactica prequel TV series Caprica, features early models of Cylons serving as domestic and industrial robotic assistants for the human inhabitants of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol, some five years prior to the revolt that precipitated the First Cylon War.

The 2012 movie Robot & Frank featured a domestic robot, the story of the movie centred on an elderly man and his relationship with a caretaker robot.

In the Star Wars film series, robots of all shapes and sizes can be found assisting the humans with several tasks. C-3PO is a robot designed to assist humans in translation, and etiquette, while R2-D2 was created to assist with maintenance. Other robots in the films can be found serving as co-pilots or fighting in battles.[23]

In the 2008 film Wall-E humans use sentient robots as trash compactors to clean up the mess they left behind on Earth. Wall-E is a small bulldozer-like robot who has claws for hands and spends all his time collecting garbage. Another robot named Eve is small, sleek, and can fly.[24]

See also


  1. Gates, William ‘Bill’ III (January 2007). "A Robot in Every Home". Scientific American. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
  2. Knight, Will. "This is the most dexterous robot ever created". MIT Technology Review.
  3. Hodson, Richard (10 May 2018). "How robots are grasping the art of gripping". Nature. 557 (7704).
  4. Mahler, Jeffrey, et al. "Dexterity Network Home Page"
  5. Alonso, Marcos, Alberto Izaguirre, and Manuel Graña. "Current Research Trends in Robot Grasping and Bin Picking." The 13th International Conference on Soft Computing Models in Industrial and Environmental Applications. Springer, Cham, 2018.
  6. Guizzo, Erico (2008-03-21). "10 stats you should know about robots but never bothered googling up". IEEE Spectrum. Archived from the original on 2009-02-28. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
  7. Dressman
  8. 1 2 3 DesMarais, Christina (2013-04-16). "Domestic Robots: High-Tech House Helpers". PCWorld. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  10. Looj
  11. Winbot Window-Washing Robot: Like Roomba, but for Glass Windows
  12. Windoro window cleaning robot review.
  13. 1 2 "Furby". Wikipedia.
  14. Batista, Elisa. "Wakamaru Bot at Your Service". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  15. Batista, Elisa. "Wakamaru Bot at Your Service". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  16. JIBO
  17. ConnectR
  18. Kuri
  19. Network Robot Forum Archived October 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  20. Colton, Mark; Ricks, Daniel (June 2010). "Trends and Considerations in Robot-Assisted Autism Therapy" (PDF).
  21. Introna, Lucas D. (2009-11-14). "The 'measure of a man' and the ethos of hospitality: towards an ethical dwelling with technology". AI & SOCIETY. 25 (1): 93–102. doi:10.1007/s00146-009-0242-1. ISSN 0951-5666.
  22. "Tetsuwan Atomu [Mighty Atom] - The Japanese Collections at the Library of Congress: Past, Present, and Future (September 20–October 16, 2010)". Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  23. Salmon, Paul. "What the Robots of Star Wars tell us about Automation". Phys.
  24. Ebert, Roger. "Wall-E movie review". Rogerebert.

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