Robots that helped individuals survive and keep secure over the previous yr are touting their worth on the tech business’s annual extravaganza amid a pandemic which has given contemporary momentum to the robotics sector.
The Client Electronics Present, which is being held on-line this yr because of the international disaster, contains robots which have change into “heroes” for a lot of in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
Amongst these taking the digital stage at CES are robotic companions, concierges, cooks, supply drones, medical assistants and people dealing with the perilous duties of sanitizing workplaces and medical facilities.
Robotic companions noticed surging demand in latest months as pandemic lockdowns intensified issues of isolation, particularly for individuals in senior residing properties.
Amid a strict virus lockdown in France, the companion robotic Cutii turned a star in senior services.
“The pandemic utterly modified our enterprise mannequin,” mentioned Antoine Bataille, chief govt of Cutii.
“We had envisioned Cutii at individuals’s properties. However at this time we’re coping with isolation on a collective stage.”
The startup based mostly within the northern French metropolis Roubaix delivered 30 robots without spending a dime to senior services in the course of the lockdowns and used the expertise to enhance the know-how and prepare its groups.
“All the things labored properly. Each two weeks we’d ship software program updates, which needed to be finished remotely. It is like what Tesla does.”
Cutii, which mixes components of a telepresence robotic with a wise digital assistant, shall be a part of the present this yr following its industrial launch in France and a advertising and marketing push in the US.
Cutii’s head of US operations, Richard Marshall, mentioned the disaster has proven individuals want greater than a wise assistant reminiscent of Google or Amazon Alexa.
The French-made robotic was designed to permit members of the family to examine in, and likewise assist individuals discover actions reminiscent of yoga or tai chi courses, both in individual or on-line.
“The purpose of Cutii is to attach people to different individuals,” Marshall mentioned. It isn’t an Alexa on wheels.”
Wendy Moyle, a professor at Australia’s Griffith College who makes a speciality of analysis on the aged, mentioned research have proven individuals could develop “a robust relationship” to companion robots “very similar to older individuals do with having a pet canine for firm.”
However Moyle mentioned present know-how for many robots “is simply not subtle sufficient” and that many individuals are dissatisfied after some time.
Robots have taken on a brand new function within the office and in medical services within the period of social distancing.
Misty Robotics, which produces a robotic platform open to outdoors builders, final yr launched its personal temperature screening app for workplaces and medical services, whereas additionally working with companions which might make the robotic a companion or digital assistant.
The pandemic has made it simpler for individuals to view robots as non-threatening and as associates, mentioned Misty Robotics chief govt Tim Enwall
“The aged haven’t got contact and the aged are definitely very afraid of viruses that may come from contact and there is loneliness and isolation,” Enwall informed AFP.
In an workplace surroundings, robots like Misty can change into a digital “concierge” which eliminates the necessity for dangerous person-to-person contact, Enwall added.
“The robotic on the entrance door can do that very same primary triage in a manner that is very acquainted to lots of people,” he mentioned.
“It is pleasant, it is interactive it is gratifying.”
In the meantime a number of exhibitors together with South Korean large LG shall be exhibiting a brand new line of disinfecting robots which have been in demand in the course of the pandemic.
LG’s autonomous robot which makes use of ultraviolet gentle to disinfect high-touch, high-traffic areas is being launched this yr to US motels, colleges, company places of work, retail and restaurant operators and transportation hubs reminiscent of airports and prepare stations.
The businesses are betting that demand for improved well being and security will proceed even after the pandemic is contained.
Within the kitchen
Automated kitchen know-how has been gaining curiosity in recent times, and that has been accelerated by the pandemic, mentioned Alex Barseghian, CEO of startup RoboEatz which started in Latvia and is now headquartered in Canada.
RoboEatz is launching its synthetic intelligence-powered autonomous robotic kitchen system that prepares, cooks and serves an array of cold and warm meals dishes from soups to salads to meal bowls.
The robotic system, designed for meals companies operations in company places of work, campuses and hospitals in addition to quick-serve eating places, takes over a number of the tedious meals prep duties whereas bettering meals security and eliminating an infection dangers from crowded kitchens.
Barseghian mentioned the thought of robotic meals prep, which might minimize meals waste and labor prices, has gained traction on account of the pandemic
“For lots of eating places, effectivity is essential,” he mentioned. “Each millimeter within the kitchen is measured. They did not take into consideration social distancing, so automating the kitchen actually solves that drawback.”
RoboEatz plans to launch its personal restaurant in Latvia this month because it markets its “turnkey” kitchen in North America.
Even after the pandemic fades, Barseghian mentioned he expects a continued give attention to well being and security in kitchens: “I do not assume it would ever be the identical once more.”
© 2021 AFP
Pandemic’s robotic ‘heroes’ spotlight their worth at tech present (2021, January 12)
retrieved 12 January 2021
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