What jobs can current commercial robots perform?
As research into practical home robots has intensified in recent years, it has been predicted that in a few years such robots will be as common as personal computers are today. People can use them to handle heavy, menial and repetitive tasks around the home, such as cleaning, mowing the lawn, etc. I'm afraid not many people want to do the job of cleaning windows. The main pavilion of the famous Anebi Convention Center in São Paulo, Brazil, is a steel-framed building with a vaulted roof designed by the architects as an all-glass structure in order to enhance the lighting effect. In this way, it can be a headache to keep the total area of nearly 20,000 square meters of glass roof clean. After every thunderstorm, the Convention Center Engineering Department had to hire seven or eight professional cleaners to work for a week, which was time-consuming and costly.
Earlier this year, the engineering department specially ordered two professional cleaning robots from Germany to replace workers for this troublesome job. Suspended from the ridge of the house, these two glass-cleaning automatons deftly travel up and down along a steel frame in the roof, working independently to complete the entire cleaning job in just one day. Professor Brooks, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes that in a few years, robots will be used in people's daily lives in a way similar to computers today. Writing in the professional magazine Technology Review, he said, "I firmly believe that robots are in the same place of development today as computers were in 1978, and that in the near future domestic robots will enter the homes of ordinary people, helping their owners to clean their rooms, clean their floors, repair their lawns, and act as janitors when needed. "