The British inventor Sir James Dyson (who runs a company with his name on it that makes high tech vacuums) has a vision in which every household is akin to The Jetsons or Futurama, with robots handling household tasks like vacuuming and cleaning windows and maybe even bending things. This week, Dyson announced the creation of a £5 million (about $8.2 million) robotics center at Imperial College London. The point? To usher in a day when every British home is filled with "robots that understand the world around them."
This is the British Dream, apparently. Dyson’s already got a team of engineers working with scientists at Japan’s Waseda University, the same scientists who created the Twendy-One robot, an android that obeys voice commands, provides nursing care, and even cooks. Of course, Dyson will be in a race with our new-age American kings. Google has its own plans to become a robotic powerhouse, and if we know anything about Google, we know it has the unique power to permeate every household.
Dyson’s firm, which includes about 2,000 engineers and scientists, will be working towards a simple goal. Eloquently summing it up, Dyson said, "you will send up a robot to clean windows. It will know where it is going. It will know how to clean the windows. And it will know when it is finished."
Is this future a reality? Science fiction makes it seem inevitable, and Dyson is a strong company led by a wealthy and focused man. "Every home" might be a bit of hyperbole when looking at the reality, but it’s not like we don’t have the technology. We just need someone to implement it, and that’s where Dyson comes in.
There are so many menial tasks that could easily be undertaken by robots. And it’s already happening the workforce. Remember Foxconn? It treated its employees poorly, and now it’s replacing them entirely. If robots can build our electronics, they can probably learn how to fry an egg or clean a window or make the bed. The real question is the one we can’t answer: what would this mean for us humans, mentally and physically? If we have nothing left to do, what do we do?
There’s only one way to find out. Dyson, let’s see what you’ve got.
Via The Independent