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Robotic Maid – a not-so-distant dream

I am sure you all must have seen the robotic maid in Jetsons and in Richie Rich. Though we thought all this was just possible in cartoons and we can have only robotic maids. But it’s no more a distant dream. Robotic maids aren’t just animated characters in this techno savvy21st century.

People have less time on their hands. More women are joining the workforce, and efficient domestic help is tough and expensive to find. It’s only natural for technology to step in. The latest launch includes a window cleaning robot that we are targeting at owners of homes in high- rise apartments. They are not the only ones. Eureka Forbes has launched Robocleanz ( 7, 990) while LG’s Hom Bot ( 43,990) maps your home for dust deposits, before busting all signs of dirt. Robocleanz’s Facebook teaser is inviting customers to discuss ‘Dus bahane meri bai de gayi…(ten excuses my maid came up with)’.

In the West, domestic robots end up doing far more. The Korea Institute of Science and Technology has designed robots that stand four feet tall and weigh 122 pounds. The Mahru-Z has a human-shaped body, and is capable of ‘seeing’ three-dimensional objects and recognising people and identifying jobs that need to be done. It can, for instance, pick up a dirty shirt, throw it into a washing machine and push the buttons to get the laundry done.
Bengaluru-based Ramaprasanna Chellamuthu is hoping to get there with his creations. He has built robots that cook and clean, and even splash water over his head on mornings that he oversleeps.
These robots come fitted with three webcams and a screen, with gesture-recognising software. Robot cleaners will change the future of cleaning.

It’s estimated that about 2.2 million robots for personal and domestic use were sold in 2010 — that’s 35 per cent more than in 2009. The International Federation of Robotics headquartered in Germany has projected that global sales of domestic robots could reach over 9.8 million units between now and 2014.

– Gunjan Tanna