Robots@home

While it looks that personal robots are far off, they are invading our homes today.

I think, a vacuum robot is the most successful kind of robot today. You can find the from around 150 Euro up to 900 Euro.

There are a lot of manufacturers, but 2 noteworthy models are the Roomba and the Neato.

Picture of the Roomba and the Neato

Roomba (left) and Neato (Right) (Image curtsey of ieee.org http://pectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/home-robots/irobot-roomba-560-vs-neato-xv11)

The Roomba uses a simple random path based on foraging techniques of insects. It passes several times over the same area which may be sub-optimal for timing, but that might not be a problem if you are not around while it cleans. It has sensors to detect dirt so it can clean does areas more thorough.

The Neato uses a laser range finder for planning an optimal path. This way, every place is only cleaned once.

Both robots (the more advanced versions anyway) have scheduling options so they can start when you are not at home and have recharging stations they automatically will return to after cleaning.

They are not the most complex robots, but they seem to do what they were designed for and are rapidly gaining popularity. A few years ago, you had to look for them directly on the manufacturers website to get them. Now you can find them in stores like the Fnac and the Colruyt.

For the moment they are not a complete replacement of vacuuming by hand, but they can decrease the number of times you have to do it manually, and increase the general cleanliness of your house by vacuuming more often then you would do yourself.

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  1. michaeltijskens
    03/03/2013 at 18:04

    I think this is a great product. Products like these make your life easier! We wanted to get one, but unfortunately we have a lot of stairs at home… If the next model can climb up the stairs, i’m definitely buying one! 😉

  2. xieaizhi
    05/03/2013 at 15:18

    It will do you a great favor if your home is totally a flat and with a lot of furniture covering your floor. But it’s only for that now. I still need to buy a vacuum if I want to clean my car or some place really small.

  3. 06/03/2013 at 13:36

    Yh, the need for a vacuum will yet not disappear. But I think it’s really great if you don’t have that much time for the cleaning work. You just program it and it will do it’s work. Of course it will not reach all the corners, after several turns of the robot, you still have to do some cleaning by hand.

  4. 12/03/2013 at 12:04

    Just like the lawn mowing robots I think these are great things! Like Michael said these robots just make life easier in a very simple way. This small thing really make someone happy. At home we thought about it but they said they were going to wait until our current vacuum cleaner will be broke. I think they can wait for a long time then… 🙂 Like I said, the lawn mowers are also great but there price is a bit too high for the moment. The fact of an own home for the robots where they return to is very interesting. Maybe old people really can give some value (love would be a bit exaggerative here) at those machines.

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