Home Robotics at CES 2024: What We Learned
3 mins read

Home Robotics at CES 2024: What We Learned

New technology demonstrations showcasing robotics never fail to impress with their spectacular displays. As the use of mechatronics becomes more widespread in various industries, the awe-inspiring feats they accomplish continue to capture our imagination. For many people, seeing a robot in action is a clear symbol of the future, and for major electronics companies, it serves as a straightforward way to assure shareholders and customers that their business remains at the forefront of innovation.

We all love flashy robot demos at tech shows, right? It’s robots zooming around, serving food, and maybe even doing the dishes. But here’s the thing: most of these robots never actually hit store shelves. They’re like futuristic eye candy, showing off what companies could do, not what they will do.

So, what’s the deal with home robots? Why are they stuck in Roomba land, cleaning floors for over 20 years without much change?

Functionality Matters

Think about it this way: robots do one thing well, then… that’s it. Roomba cleans floors, period. And that’s why it rocks! iRobot hit the jackpot with that simple idea. Now, everyone else is trying to make a better robot vacuum, which, while impressive, isn’t exactly groundbreaking.

Other ideas, like robot security guards or helpers, haven’t taken off because they’re either too expensive or not useful enough. Remember Amazon’s Astro? Cool robot, but its limited features and hefty price tag kept it from becoming a household name.

The Silver Bullet Might Not Be What You Think

Okay, so everyone wants a robot that does more than just vacuum. What should this “silver bullet” do? Most people think it’ll tackle another hated chore, like laundry or dishes. But that’s not so easy. Building a robot that can grab things reliably and safely is surprisingly tricky!

Some folks dream of a robot that flies around like a drone and cleans high shelves. Cool idea, but the payload (stuff it can carry) would be tiny, making it not very helpful. Plus, a hovering Roomba with arms just feels creepy, right?

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Humanoids: Cool, But Costly

Then there are the humanoids, robots that look and move like us. They’re fascinating but don’t expect one to be cleaning your house anytime soon. They’re super expensive and better suited for factories and warehouses, where things are more predictable than your messy living room.

A Brighter Future for Older Adults?

Even though home robots haven’t quite cracked the code, there’s hope on the horizon, especially for older adults. Companies like AARP and Samsung are focusing on “age tech,” products that help people stay independent as they get older.

Robots can play a big role here! Imagine a robot that reminds you to take your pills, helps you get around the house, or even keeps you company. These are the kinds of robots that could actually make a difference in people’s lives.

Also read | The MassRobotics Accelerator is now live

Home robots haven’t quite lived up to the hype, but the future isn’t all Roomba and doom. New technologies, like better AI, could change the game. And don’t forget about age tech—that’s where robots might truly shine.

The bottom line? Keep an eye on this space, folks. The next big thing in home robots might not be cleaning your floors, but giving you a hand (or even a hug) when you need it most.

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