Domestic robots are electronic robotic devices that are designed to manage various types of tasks around the house. A domestic robot is a type of service robot, an autonomous robot that is primarily used for household chores but may also be used for education, entertainment, or therapy. Using domestic cleaning robots as a representative example we look into the task details and their context.
While some of these devices focus on functions such as house cleaning, others are designed to provide company for the elderly, monitor the activities of young children, and operate kitchen appliances. Thus far, there are only a few limited models, though speculators, such as Bill Gates, have suggested that they could become more common in the future. While the number and type of robots that are in actual use today are somewhat small, designs for robots with a broader range of capabilities are currently under development by a number of different companies. There are also companies researching the potential for developing robots that can function as health attendants, providing limited health care to patients who are recovering from surgery or illness.
While most domestic robots are simplistic, some are connected to WiFi home networks or smart environments and are autonomous to a high degree. Of all the domestic robots currently in use today, the most common is the smart vacuum. This type of household robot is capable of maneuvering around the floor of a room, cleaning carpeting as well as hardwood and other types of floors. The robot uses sensors to identify the presence of furniture and other objects, and change direction when and as needed. There were an estimated 16.3 million service robots in 2018.
Domestic robots are also used as part of home surveillance networks. Tools of this kind are typically connected to home computer systems using a wired or wireless link. Entertainment robots are another example of robots that are currently in general use. Robots of this kind are designed to provide immersive entertainment and companionship for shuttles, the elderly, or anybody who lives alone. Other domestic robot models are currently under production. This involves robots that can be configured to cook basic meals, remove litter, vacuum, make a bed, and handle a variety of comparatively uncomplicated household duties.