I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to having the machines as our overlords. Robots are just awesome at everything they do, and while it’s true they are a bit silly and clumsy at the moment, that’s a shortcomming on our part not theirs. Once we figure it out they’ll be better than us in every single way. Well, except maybe love making, but who needs tiny smelly diaper wearing semihumans, when you can 3D print entirely developed shiny new units from scratch. But while the robotocracy is still far in the future, machines are getting better and better at boring mundane tasks. If the Jetson’s have taught me anything it’s that having a robot do your cleaning and chores for you is just an all around neat deal.
1. Atlas (Boston Dynamics)
I usually leave my favourite for last, but I just love this bloke! A next step in the chain of evolution BigDog started, Atlas is able to keep it’s balance perfectly no matter how much you abuse it. It even possess a very essential skill for everything bipedal – Knowing how to get back up after falling flat on it’s face. The best part is that it already has basic understanding of cleaning. Just imagine a cleaning service staffed entirely by these! Atlas for me is the closest we’ve come to actual sci-fi synthetic beings. It’s not the prettiest face, but it’s definitely the most able.
2. Nao (Aldebaran Robotics)
What Atlas lacks in cuteness and social skills, Nao delivers. This little guy doesn’t really have artificial intelligence, but that doesn’t stop it from being able to reproduce human interaction by listening and answering contextually. It’s equipped with all senses one would expect from a human. The best part is that Nao’s personality is designed to be customised by it’s owner, so you can make it into a deadly assassin bot, or the perfect domestic helper. Now we only need to light a spark between it and Atlas and wait for the beautiful robot babies.
3. Braava Jet (iRobot)
The future is now! Braava Jet is a cousin of Roomba as you may have figured out. However unlike it, this thing actually washes your floors instead of just sucking filth from them. It’s equally capable of navigating your home and cleaning hard to reach spaces, taking pride on the same switch-on-and-forget-about mentality. All you need to do is give it one of the three special mops and it will figure out the rest. As always your house pets will positively love it, and sticking googly eyes on it will only make it funnier.
4. CRAM Cockroach Bot (PolyPEDAL Lab, UC Berkeley)
I don’t know about you, but I actually think cockroaches are beneficial. Think about it. They pick up the crumbs you leave on the floor and in hard to reach places. The problem that they’re gross little critters still stands however. Now what if you could keep that functionality but exchange the creepy buggers with tiny bots? These little things move in the same way, being able to squeeze in places half their size, just like cockroaches can. They’re designed to work as survivor finders, but I’m sure they’ll do an awesome job of cleaning the spots in your house you and your Braava Jet can’t get to.
5. Method 2 (Hankook Mirae Technology)
“Get away from the rug, you git!”
For the heaviest of duties. Like cleaning after your pet brontosaurus… To be completely honest, I have no idea how the Method 2 could be put to good use in house cleaning, aside from cleaning out the house itself. But consider this – A robot suit with fully articulated arms will be able to use a mop 6 times bigger than a normal one. Also. It’s a robot suit! I’m not going to justify it anymore than this.