Don’t Fear the Revolution: A Robotic Future Will Serve Their Human Masters Well

a robot standing next to a window and thinking

For many of us, the word “robotics” calls forth an image of laser-eyed humanoids from a sci-fi movie. But reality is not quite so dramatic. In fact, the science of robotics, combined with the power of our broadband infrastructure, has already transformed many of our homes and workplaces into centers of “smart” activity, both inside and out. In today’s post, we’ll look at how advances in robotics are already revolutionizing our lives—and what’s to come in our 10G future.

On the Inside

A robot as a personal assistant sounds futuristic—but it’s already here. With Lynx, your Alexa device becomes embodied in a moving, interactive robot that plays your favorite music, reminds you of appointments, monitors your home, and can even teach yoga positions. It also contains facial recognition technology so that your relationship becomes, well, personal.

And if your children think they deserve a robot, too, take a look at Zenbo. A “caring AI companion,” Zenbo can share conversations and emotions, entertain and babysit. It can also create interactive learning experiences in schools, be used for self-assessments in hospitals, and provide information to travelers or customers in public spaces.

Adults, kids—what about pets? Thanks to increased internet speeds, Sony’s AIBO (Artificial Intelligence RoBOt) can now be “raised” from puppy to adult, recognize over 100 voice commands, map out spaces, and even speak and blog! These pets offer an important form of companionship for seniors and those with disabilities who may not be able to handle an actual pet.   

On the Outside

After a long day at work, the last thing we want to do is mow the lawn—but now there’s a robot for that. The Landroid adjusts to the contours of your lawn, navigates narrow passages, and gets up close to borders that would otherwise require weedwhackers. And if it starts to rain, it will move to shelter. You can even use your phone app to program it to only mow at certain times. Your neighbors will thank you!         

While your lawn’s being mowed, you can tackle those dirty windows you’ve been putting off. Window washing is a chore at the best of times and, on upper floors, it can be downright dangerous. Well, put that scaffolding away. The Alfawise Window Cleaning Robot has three cleaning modes, a vacuum pump that allows it to move both horizontally and vertically, and, best of all, it can be operated by a remote control or a mobile app.

And what Alfawise does for your windows, Dolphin does for your pool. It’s the pool cleaner that knows when to vacuum, when to scrub, and uses a GPS system to know where to go and where to clean. And with the MyDolphinPlus app on your phone, you can program cleaning cycles and starting times.

Looking Ahead

As exciting as these robotic helpers are, they are only functional if they’re connected to reliable Wi-Fi. As we move into a 10G future, increased speeds and greater bandwidths will allow homes and offices to connect even more devices to their networks. By the year 2025, in fact, it is projected that some 75 million devices will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). This will mean a trend towards robotics that are more invisible, and more built-in, such as robotic cooking and cleaning devices that help create gourmet meals within impeccable kitchens. Robotic devices and sensors in homes will also assist the elderly and disabled in navigating living spaces and bathrooms, helping to maintain dignity and self-sufficiency. The ultimate goal of this kind of intelligence amplification (IA) will be to use robotics not to replace human ability—but to amplify it.

And all of this is just a taste of what the broadband of the future will make possible. To learn more about other emerging technologies that super-charged internet will be bringing into our lives, read our related article on 5 critical technologies that will be supercharged by infrastructure investment.