Robots have gone from the pages of science fiction into every room of the home (yes, even the bathroom).
At CES 2018 we encountered hundreds of robots in all sorts of shapes, from simple little boxes to cute human-like forms.
Robots intended for home use can be small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, nearly adult-sized, and pretty much any size in between.
Some are inactive, while others can dance, with robots having all sorts of ranges of motion. We even watched one climb up a set of stairs, putting one foot in front of the other.
All of those things are nice, but our interest in robots is focused on what they can — or can’t — do for seniors and their family caregivers.
What Home Robots Can Do
There are many functions we’ve seen home robots perform at CES 2018.
- Reading books to children
- Answer questions based on answers from the web
- Turn lights on and off based on voice commands
- Provide reminders to take medication
- Sing a song along with a video on their screen
- Send notifications to specified contacts if it saw a person in the home fall
- Record video of persons in a home that was supposed to be vacant
- Play a board game
- Conduct a video call
. . . and so much more!
There is really too much to list, even though we are still just scratching the surface of what robots are capable of doing for us.
What Home Robots Can’t Do — Yet
What we didn’t see at CES — and was not claimed by anyone with whom we spoke — is one of the things that brings us to CES each year.
We didn’t see a robot that could function as a caregiver to an independent-living senior.
There are robots that can keep our senior loved ones entertained, be great companions, remind them to take their medication, reach out to family members, and do other things we seek in a robotic caregiver.
None, though, perform all of the functions.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t close. In one of our CES wrap-up articles we will discuss one or two that really impressed us and whose developers are taking the steps needed to function as caregivers.
In the meantime, there is a lot about which to be excited!
We want to share this montage of robots, just a few of the many pictures we’ve taken so far — with another day of CES 2018 ahead.