Domestic robot

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First generation Roomba vacuums the carpets in a domestic environment

A domestic robot, or service robot, is an autonomous robot that is used for household chores. 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] Many domestic robots are used for basic household chores. Others are educational or entertainment robots, such as the HERO line of the 1980s. While most domestic robots are simplistic, some are connected to WiFi home networks or smart environments and are autonomous to a high degree. There were an estimated 3,540,000 service robots in use in 2006[clarification needed], compared with an estimated 950,000 industrial robots.[2]

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.

Dressman is a robot to iron shirts using hot air.[3]

Kitchen robots, such as Somabar, are some of the most funded robots on Kickstarter.[4]

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.

Security robots which 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.[5]

Outdoor robots

Outdoor robots are domestic robots that perform different chores that exist outside of the house.

Robotic lawn mowers are one type of outdoor robot that cut grass on their own without the need for a driver. 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.[5]

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.[5]

Looj cleans house gutters; users operate the device using a remote.[6]

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. Gutter-cleaning robots can blast through debris, clogs, and sludge in gutters, and brush them clean. [7] [8]


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 companions for children. They have also have been used by many universities in competitions such as the RoboCup.

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

A social robot is a robot whose main objective is social interaction. Many of these robots are designed to help the elderly. For example, the Wakamaru is a humanoid robot designed to provide company for elderly and less mobile people, made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. There is also the Paro, a robot baby seal 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. JIBO and ConnectR are family robots that includes telepresence. [9][10]

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.[11]

Robots no longer in production

Early historical attempts to bring robots into the home. Their actual functions is up for debate.

In popular culture

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.

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.

See also


External links