Automation and robotics has been a great help in any type of industry that requires efficiency at its finest. They have altered how factories work across the globe by single-handedly transforming how products are made. These robots have become more user-friendly, affordable and intelligent as time goes by.
Robots are now crossing another territory. These intelligent factory works are ready to be useful inside our homes. The field of consumer electronics which was once ruled by cellular phones and computers is now filled with home-based robotic systems.
With each passing year, more and more robots are presented to the electronics consuming public. Let us look at the robot innovations presented in this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which might have given us a preview of what our lives may look like in the near future.
Mobile Robot Control
Mobile control robot controlling devices remotely is becoming more popular. An example of smart phone remote control is a ball which is actually a robot that can be controlled by your mobile device. Inside the ball is a gyroscope sensor and two micro-wheels that make the ball roll on every command. Communication between the phone and the device is done through Bluetooth. Moving the virtual joystick on your mobile will move the ball. You can also draw a predefined pattern for the ball to follow. Finally, you can also change the color of the glow of the ball, making it usable even in the dark.
Dancing Robot Music
A robot music device at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas is an example of successfully combining two electronic devices that capture the interest of most of us: robots and music. The robot can transform from a simple mp3 player with speaker to a humanoid once the music starts. It can also dance to the beat by programming it through the included remote control. This device can store 2 GB of music or approximately 500 songs.
Balancing Robot Toys
Teaching a man to balance in a bike is hard, but teaching a robot to balance in a bike is even harder. Not with this a recent robot development. By swinging the stick of the controller to the right direction (much like the Wii controller), you can make the robot move back and forth. It can even move its head following the movement of the controller.
Balancing is done through the help of a gyroscope attached to the robot’s chest. Inside the controller is another gyroscope with an accelerometer for detecting the movements. The robot is a toy for now, but it is a breakthrough in balancing an object without human intervention.
Singing Robot Vacuums
Robot vacuum cleaners are slowly replacing traditional vacuum cleaners. They help you save time and effort as they can look for dust and dirt themselves. You can now control these intelligent cleaners using your smart phone or smart tablet. Then there’s Deebot, the first vacuum robot that can also work as your personal entertainer, as it can sing tunes and dance to the music.
Walk-about Work Stations
Although technically not a robot, work stations certainly behave like them. Work stations are being developed to be used either at home or at the office. The high-tech chair usually features three 19-inch LCD monitors, a 7” LCD touch screen control panel, a webcam, wireless headset with noise-cancelling, and perimeter and working headlights plus full spectrum lighting for avoiding jaundice. The seat is made up of top-line leather with climate package and head and tilt adjustment. An air purification system is also present.
These products are only a few examples of robots that are invading consumer electronics. These were once only subjects of sci-fi novels, but now we are witnessing them for real. As electronic components and electronics designs become cheaper, we can expect more of these robots become affordable. This is the dawn of consumer robotics.
LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. They specialise in embedded systems and wireless technologies design.www.lx-
Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.
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LX Group (incorporating LX Design House, LX Solutions, LX Consulting and LX Innovations)