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Scyfy Helper Robots Not So Sci-fi

February 11, 2010

I came across a post on SingularityHub today discussing elements of the Scyfy channel show Caprica which are not so science fiction, even today.  In particular, they pointed out the helper robot, Serge, is not unlike other technology that helps us in our homes today.  Some technologies singled out in the article are Siri, a virtual assistant app for the iPhone, vacuum robots like the Roomba and Neato, and telepresence robots from the likes of Willow Garage and Anybots.

Here at the QoLT Center we are also focused on bringing technology into the home as part of our Active Home project.  In a collaboration with Intel, students and faculty are developing algorithms for Herb, a mobile robot with a robot arm and hand with several kinds of sensors mounted on it that allow it to sense and manipulate the environment.  Herb has demonstrated tasks such as autonomously loading a dishwasher and grabbing items from the refrigerator, as shown in the video below:

So as you can see, a lot of things we once thought were science fiction are not so far off these days.

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