Think of a future where robots would be doing your entire job like cleaning, going to work, cooking, taking care of children. The idea isn’t crazy but just think about how the future of robots as your companion would be. Robot word was introduced by famous Czech playwriter in his famous play Rossum’s Universal Robots in 1920, which gave a hint about the importance of robots in future. Seeing the advancement and miniaturisation of technology, it is not a distant dream to see an artificial-intelligence machine that would understand your emotional status and would be fully efficient to perform all sorts of tasks.
Robots in distant future would play many roles in our daily life—from doing most dangerous tasks which would be highly injurious or even fatal to humans, to supporting emotionally, when you are depressed or not well. Robots would cater to our every need and to some extent, that’s happening already. The Pleodinosaur robot, a pet robot, is able to express basic emotional traits like happiness, fear, frustration and even pain. All the emotions are artificially designed but these are so realistic in nature. Such a well-designed robot that can react to our emotional state can serve as a companion during difficult times.
Another example is Makroskopic Intelligent Interaction System, popularly known as Makiis or Skype on wheel, a telepresence robot which allows people to interact with others, anywhere in the world. One of the most amazing things about this robot is that it instantaneously allows people to transport their presence to another location. Blending telepresence machines with humanoid design would act as a potential companion and alienate loneliness.
Robots may also play important role in shaping children’s social skills. As the evolution of robotics is increasing at a very high pace, we can design tools which can help them integrate into society and understand social cues.
Robots have the potential to meet many of the needs of an aging population as well. According to a survey, by 2050, 18 per cent of the global population will be over the age of 65. So to take care of elderly people, robots would possibly take over as live-in nurse and be potential caregivers. They can be used to supervise an elderly person, making sure they take their medication at the right time or that they don’t fall. Currently a model of elder-care robot, P37 S65, which can monitor senior patients and communicate with doctors while providing basic care and companionship, is on the roll.
With the technology getting cheaper and smaller, the day is not far away, when everybody will be using robots as their companions. Robots will definitely prove their immense capability in being the best companion you will ever have in distant future.
By Rohan Pal