Ali Afrouzi has worked as a solution architect for Apple and Google. Currently, he's lead technologist at bObsweep. 

Are Home Robots the Next Big Thing?

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We're all still waiting for flying cars. But the growing presence of ‘bots may soon allow homeowners to channel their inner Jetson

March 30, 2016

As technology evolves and new appliances and devices become integrated into everyday life, home builders respond with fresh designs. For example, broadband connections are now standard in new builds. Now, more and more, builders are embracing the smart home trend, outfitting new homes with connected technologies that enable greater comfort, safety and energy savings. Built-in robots are on track to be the next big trend in home building. Here’s why. (Image: Allure Graphic Design/Pixabay).

1/ Automation offers convenience. It was Rosie the Robot who did the housework for The Jetsons. We’re not there yet, but robots are doing household chores (a vacuuming and mopping ‘bot that debuted in 2009 has now been adopted by more than 150,000 households). The technology is getting sleeker and more affordable, and homeowners are embracing automated maintenance solutions such as remote lawnmowers and Internet-connected sprinklers.

2/ Robots are on track for acceptance. The demand for residential robotics is projected to grow. Studies indicate a significant increase in bot integration into consumers’ lives by the year 2020.

3/ Robots are an amenity. Though demand for bots is growing, consumers today still buy smart technology separately and integrate it into a home design that isn’t always fully compatible. Robotic vacuums are typically made up of a wireless vacuum unit and external charging station. Integrated design would put robot charging stations under kitchen cabinets in an appliance garage, seamlessly blending the technology into the kitchen décor.

4/ Domestic robots are efficient. Today's robovac can self-start on a programmed schedule, vacuum, sweep and mop an entire floor in a single cycle and automatically return to its charging station when low on battery power. Combining multiple houseware tools into one is space-efficient, and it’s progress toward the smart home of tomorrow.

5/ They’re here. In the early days of the smart home revolution, only a few builders took the leap of faith and installed connected thermostats and appliances, but their prescience was rewarded with positive response from potential buyers. Preliminary models of built-in robotics have already been developed for testing with residential and commercial builders. With the technology ready, it's only a matter of time before robots become roommates and Rosie becomes reality.

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