A good while ago, the UN’s annual World Robotics report predicted that robots would enter mainstream use in 2007, much like computers and Internet have done years before.
These predictions are based on extrapolations of available data. Just as computer- and Internet-use has been doubling every year or so, so is robot-use doubling now.
Extrapolation is an extremely valueable technique for predicting the future, as can be read in the Singularity FAQ.
From the article:
Seven times more robots will helping us out with the cleaning, security and entertainment in three years’ time, as their price falls and they get smarter.
Two-thirds of the 607,000 domestic robots in use were bought in 2003, says the UN’s annual World Robotics report.
By the end of 2007, 4.1 million robots will be doing jobs in homes, says the report by the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the International Federation of Robotics.
As well as the vacuuming, they will take over tasks like mowing the lawn, cleaning pools, and washing windows.
Robots like Irobi, unveiled this week by Korean company Yujin Robotics, will be able to multiple tasks.
It is a net-based, all-in-one family robot complete with educational functions, home security, diary, entertainment, and message delivery capability.
Now, there is another point of view from the American-based
From the article:
But specialised robots are finding their way into homes, with robotic vacuums already doing the cleaning duties in half a million US homes.
This trend is set to continue, according to the CEA.
Domestic robots that can control home networks, sort laundry and scrub the kitchen floor are not far off and are likely to be sold in much the same way as other household appliances are.
They will not, however, become mass market until they have reached the prices of other labour saving appliances and are proved to be reliable and effective, said the CEA.
Marshall Brain, the founder of www.howstuffworks.com, maintains a blog about our future Robotic Nation, which is very interesting and worty of taking a look at. He has also written an essay entitled Robotic Nation, in which he writes about what he thinks will be the implications of the ‘rise of the robots’.
Those implications are, in summary:
- More and more automisation of jobs at the bottom of the ladder as robots get smarter and cheaper.
- Vast unemployment as a direct consequence hereof, and possible economical devestation if no measures are taken in time.
- A leisure society, as a result of modifying the economy such that everybody has a guaranteed liveable income. Robots do all the work.
It’s inspiring material. In fact, I thought that last one was so inspiring, that I wrote a blogpost on the Future Of Virtual Environments right after reading it.
Marshall has written so much on the topic… he actually seems to be quite obsessed with them. 😉
And justly so. Robots will transform our lives, just like computers and the Internet have done before.
For more info on robots, the latest robot news, and more links-in-general:
Just remember folks…
The Internet is not exactly the last revolution you’ll have ever seen in your lifetime.