Side By Side With Robots In Our Daily Lives

What if you could have a robot that could take out the garbage, put away your toys or help you with your homework? Already, you live in a world where you can tell a device in your home or command a cell phone to play a song, call a friend or answer a question. Many people have a robotic vacuum that cleans their houses while they are at work. Kids growing up in the 21st century might take this technology for granted.  As our technological innovation advance and improve, the use of robots that can assist us with daily tasks, called domestic robots, may continue to become more popular and common in our homes.

The First Domestic Robots

You might not know this, but some people have been using robots in their homes since the 1980’s. HERO JR was one of the first robots that people used as a personal assistant. It could play songs, wake its owner up in the morning, remind them of appointments and interact like a person. It also could play music and teach lessons. The evolution of robots for personal use has come a long way since then.

Robotic Companions

Have you ever had a robotic pet? Today, it’s pretty easy to find toys that can interact and play like a dog, cat, pony or even a dragon or dinosaur (minus the fire-breathing and attacking). They can respond to voices, give affection and follow commands. Some can play games or help teach ABC’s. But they don’t require food or water, don’t make a mess, and for kids and adults who have allergies to pet dander, no problem! These computerized critters are becoming even more lifelike and are gaining popularity as more than just toys—they can provide companionship and some health benefits for lonely adults and the elderly, who might not be able to take care of a live pet.

Chore Helpers and Personal Assistants

More than ever, it’s important to keep a clean house. With the hustle and bustle of school, work, extracurricular activities and trying to spend time with family and friends, finding time to tidy up can be challenging…and let’s face it, cleaning isn’t always all that fun. Robotic vacuums have become very popular for daily cleanups. They can be set to clean at different times and the engineers that design them have given them the ability to find their way around tricky spots, clean up carpets and hard floors, and make their way back to their charging station. There are robots that mop and wash windows too! Want to keep your yard looking its best or clean a swimming pool? There are robots for that too!

Many people are starting to use robots to help them schedule appointments, remind them of birthdays and anniversaries, and keep track of to-do’s.

The Future of Robots in Our Homes

Robot technology is a rapidly changing and growing field. Domestic robots are becoming more affordable and popular every day. While robots can helpful for chores and fun to play and interact with, how much of our daily lives should we assign to robots in the future? What are the pros and cons of using robots to do things for us?

Finally, if you could build your very own robot, what would you want it to do? 
For more challenging play try a monthly-themed Groovy Lab in a BoxThere is no better way to educate your STEMists than to keep their minds screen-free, design learning to create and solve, through the engineering design process and STEM-related activities. Furthermore, our monthly box activates thinking, questioning, inquiring and original creation as we guide children through scientific inquiry and engineering design process.

For more about robots and to make your own robot check out our “Groovy Bots” box for a Lesson in Robotics. During your ENGINEERING DESIGN CHALLENGE you will investigate crystals, solubility, evaporation, and much, much, more.

A groovy approach to hands-on Next Generation Science Standards,  design based learning… Groovy Lab in a Box!

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