When the Humans are Dead: Domestic Robots Unite on RoboEarth

Did someone say SkyNet?

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By David Hammond

Week before last, I wrote about Famibot, a robotic housekeeping/security system introduced at this year's International Home + Housewares Show at McCormick Place. The Famibot connects to household appliances like refrigerators and cooking appliances to help you prepare food, maintain home security and care for your family.

Few days ago, I read a BBC report about a collaborative group of robots, tethered by a central brain, that would care for and serve patients; these robots would be among the first members of RoboEarth.

So what's RoboEarth?

"At its core RoboEarth is a world wide web for robots: a giant network and database repository where robots can share information and learn from each other," said Rene van de Molengraft, the RoboEarth project leader.

This cloud-based database would function as a kind of "common brain" for all the machines.

Did someone say SkyNet?

Intelligent non-human beings will, it's predicted, soon be working in our households in a number of domestic capacities. These automatons would be capable of making decisions without human intervention, of doing things without direct human supervision, on their own, independently, like the sentient beings that created them.

Common household tasks, like making breakfast/lunch/dinner and of course vacuuming and cleaning windows, are already within the wheelhouse of robotic helpers – these same items are actually produced and sold by the company that makes the Famibot.

This is not really anything new. Heck, as I recall, such robotic maids were foreseen in "The Jetsons" in the early Sixties.

And we've all seen the movies (starring California's disgraced former governor) about robots rising to take over the world. It has to start somewhere, right? Why not your kitchen?

It's comforting to know that when the humans are dead, there will still be clean floors and windows…and perhaps dinner on the table.

This is not another April Fools' story.




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