It is amazing to watch the rate of development within the robotics industry. Unfortunately, most of the discussion outside the tech cycles is about the fear of people losing their jobs or the robots turning against humans. The two issues are based on the misunderstanding of how technology works. It is true that robots take over the manual tasks normally performed by the majority of the employed population but at the same time tech creates many new industries and jobs in the process. For example, emails and social media completely eliminated the need for the post office and courier services, and in the process the post office workers lost out. But in came the telcos like Safaricom, Airtel, Orange which combined have employed many more people. When you look further within or below them there are ISPs, domain and email hosting companies and many more.
It is hard not to sympathize with the directly affected unskilled workers who most cases find it hard to get jobs in the newly created industries. World over the unskilled workers are the first people to be affected by any type of automation in most companies. At the same time, they are the ones who find it hard to find new jobs within the newly created industries. Still the ability of humans to adapt and learn new tricks means at the long run such people find new jobs or new ways to survive. The progress made through advancement in technology improve things for everyone including those who are directly in terms of job losses. Going back to the example of Post office workers, although in this case they lost out, they also enjoy the ease of communication just like others.
But when it comes to AI and robots, people forget that they are simply the next evolution of the computers and phones that people have been using for years and now can’t do without. With time people will find them even more useful than phones and computers are, at the present time. It is the reason why I am so fascinated by the level of development taking place within the space. In particular, the fact that the robots are not only being used for the industrial tasks but also for the homes and daily chores. The emergence of smart home and IoT technologies have made robots accessible to the average consumer, bringing an unprecedented level of convenience. Robots now make the lives of users easier by taking control of their day to day schedule, household tasks, home security, and even entertainment.
One of the companies that is in the forefront on this is LG. A few weeks ago I attended LG event and got a chance to discuss its lineup of advanced robots. I found out that LG, has done a lot of research on consumers need and designed each of their robots to meet specific needs.
“To minimize effort and time that goes into daily household chores, we are seeing a growing need by consumers to apply robots,” said Maureen Kemunto, Assistant Communications and Marketing Manager LG Electronics, East Africa.
Some of the user-centric impressive collection of robots includes the Lawnmower Robot, the Hub Robot and HOM-BOT in addition to the more specialized Airport Robot and Airport Cleaning Robot.
The LG Home-Bot Square ushers in a whole new era of smart cleaning. It is equipped with advanced deep learning technology that makes it learn to recognize upcoming obstacles and instantly adjust its path. It square design allows for efficient corner cleaning. The cleaner also has a feature that enables it to monitor the home while the owner is away. If the unit senses any movement, its integrated cameras automatically take photos of the room and send them to the homeowner’s smartphone.
The LG’s lawn mowing robot rounds out the cleaning process by taking control of the homeowner’s yard. Using artificial intelligence, the robot is capable of accurately trimming any type of grass, maximizing its cutting performance as it adjusts its speed to approaching obstacles. With the Hom-Bot Square and the lawn Mowing Robot, consumers are guaranteed effective and effortless cleaning throughout the entire home.
Then there is the Hub-robot which unites a diverse range of smart appliances under a single ecosystem, optimizing operations and enhancing convenience. Complete with Amazon Alexa’s voice recognition technology, the robot can perform household tasks, set alarms, create memos, display images of refrigerator content as well as provide weather and traffic updates.
Good news is that Kenyans will soon be able to enjoy this, as LG’s lineup of smart technology and other advanced home products are introduced in the market.