The robots are coming! No, not the bad ones—at least not yet. Technology in the field of robotics is still in its infancy; we’re still able to dictate what robots do and how they do it, for now. That influence makes it possible for us to benefit from it in ways, thus far, much more reasonable than Westworld would suggest.
Robotics has made huge strides in recent years, reaching into areas like manufacturing, military, healthcare, and entertainment. The precise, mathematic, nature of robotic movement gives it a noted advantage over a human hand doing the same work, especially in dangerous situations or in those requiring combinations of accuracy, power, and agility that our bodies cannot produce or sustain.
For this exercise, we’ll keep it light—no warfare or brain surgery. Here are ten household chores (excluding vacuuming, which the robots have already taken off our hands) that we’d love to pass on to Rosie the Robot Maid.
We’ve come a long way since washboards and drying lines. Washing machines and dryers are two of the most important semi-robotic inventions in the history of home goods, but they lack one key functionality. Folding clean laundry remains one of life’s most dreaded tasks; we’d gladly let a robot do it for us.
No robot will ever replace home cooking, we know that. But, convenience is king in today’s world, and a fast food options that aren’t fast food would be valuable in any kitchen.
Cut the grass
Another task that has long progressed past its hand-powered origins, cutting the grass remains a laborious and time consuming chore. This wish may soon be granted, although the prospect of spinning robotic blades is cause for pause.
Owning a pet is one of life’s simplest joys. It does, though, come with one rather smelly caveat, doody duty. This is one task we’d let any artificially intelligent being do; we might even pay them.
In a day and age where every type of communication occurs in the palm of our hand, why does junk mail even exist? A robotic mail solution would combine a paper shredder, mail-retrieving dog, and recycling bin to rid us of one of society’s most pointless tasks.
You wouldn’t send a robot to go shopping for school clothes or shoes, they involve too much variance, at least for current versions of AI. Grocery shopping, though, is repeatable and predicable enough for a metal mind to manage.
Any person east of the Mississippi knows, shoveling snow is a painful, dreadful chore come wintertime. And, while snowblowers do an admirable job in helping to avoid the inevitable back pain shoveling brings, using one still requires you trudge out into the mess.
Don’t get us wrong, the modern dish washer is a fantastic bit of mechanical mastery. The nagging issue that remains, putting clean dishes away, is one we’d love to hand-off to a willing robotic taskmaster.
Imitation furniture is affordable, and often looks great, but if we could arrange for a robot to assemble it, we’d be throwing money at whomever invented it. Let’s be honest, robots would have a hard time with most of the stuff, too.
A mindless daily task, shaving does involve an acute sense of precision and familiarity with the surface of one’s skin. If robots were capable of doing so without causing injury, we’d have much more frightening possibilities to worry about.