AI and Robotics

Essay by buffon01High School, 11th grade April 2004

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The current debate regarding whether or not robots are ready for domestic use (as portrayed in the recent 'The Australian' newspaper article) is clearly a one sided argument. It should be noted that specific points of view emerge from the text. The inevitability of advancing technology and the possibility that robots may replace humans is seen as a plausible scenario that is referred to in the article. Other such arguments include: Are robots ready to enter the consumer market? Are they too expensive? And lastly, has technology neglected to consider social impacts?

The argument regarding whether or not, robots are ready to enter the home consumer market is widely discussed by engineers and analysts alike. The article clearly demonstrates that robotic technology is relied upon for industry related tasks, as is quoted in the article, "Robots are pervasive in industry". Although companies have attempted to make the transition from 'industry robot' to 'household robot' there are implications which come with the 'household robots' that are not present with the 'industry robots'.

These are quoted from a scientific American Internet article, regarding the use of a household vacuum robot called 'Roomba'. "You don't have to watch Roomba continuously but you had better be nearby to help it. " Also stated in the article, "I think its fair to say that Roomba rises above the bar of mere gadget, but not by much." 1 The implications that come with the household robots involve the very diverse environment of an ordinary household living room. Typical household robots are designed to vacuum, clean or even sweep, however the robots currently available have problems recognising specific obstacles and then attempting to avoid those obstacles. "Improved active navigation systems are needed if robotic pool cleaners and lawn mowers are to be more widely...