There are millions of people out there who love cleaning the house. They enjoy brushing up and doing the dusting, often feeling a sense of achievement and accomplishment when it is done.
However, at the same time, some see doing the housework as a chore or an inconvenience. Many do not enjoy tidying up, considering it a necessary hardship.
Not to put too fine a point on it, cleaning can sometimes be a bit of a pain, which they would gladly leave to someone else if they could.
But, in this age of technological advancement, what if you no longer had to do the cleaning up, and in fact, the job could be done by a robot?
Yes, you read that right! This is not a science fiction story or an episode of `The Twilight Zone`. Believe it or not, a major Japanese car manufacturer is now developing cutting edge robotic systems, which could be used to clean people’s homes.
It has been revealed researchers at Toyota are working on a prototype for a house cleaning robot. One actually suspending from the ceiling, with arms which can reach down and wipe the kitchen surfaces with a sponge while at the same time, another robot is buzzing round the living room, wiping down the tv screen, or clearing the coffee table.
It seems incredible, but boffins at the $1 billion Toyota Research Institute in Los Altos, California have set up a mock house laid out like an actual home, experimenting with various systems, to someday make household cleaning robots a reality.
Toyota opened its California institute five years ago, to bring its knowledge of car manufacture into the world of robotics. As a matter of fact, it is believed computer and actuation equipment used in contemporary vehicles can be transferred to the building of robots.
Advances in Artificial Intelligence could also herald a new era in robotics. We could see them evolve from carrying out simple repetitive movements to gathering sensory and planning skills and mastering machine learning.
In other words, we may soon see the day when robots carry out more complex tasks and even learn to think for themselves. Who would have thought it?
However, at the moment, it is still quite challenging for robots to carry out household tasks like cleaning. So, we may not yet see every home with its own android, wearing an apron doing the dusting or hoovering up, but they are still working towards it.
Especially, in Japan, where scientists believe robots, in decades to come, could play everyday roles in assisting the ageing population. Could they help the elderly keep their homes clean, or even become live-in carers?
Who knows what the future will bring!