The world of hotels may never be the same if iRobots has its way. Pilot programs in the target industries of health care, retail and building security are slated to start soon. Will a machine make our hotel bed in the future? What if I was asleep and it was time to change the bed? How might this affect me?
“So much of robotics has to do with physical motion –navigation around our environment and doing increasingly high-level tasks – it makes these two initial markets (of military and home cleaning) seem pedestrian versus the dream of what’s possible,” said CEO Colin Angle.
A Cnet reports introduces us to “Ava” which is iRobot’s three-wheeled pedestal-shaped robot that sports a tablet computer as “her” head. The plan is for Ava to help her parent company, which makes remote-controlled cyber-sneaky military drones, to move beyond that into something more helpful.
In tests, Ava was able to navigate the offices based on a map that it had generated in its “head.” Cnet asks, “Will we someday walk into our favorite hotel and find Ava the iRobot ready to escort us to our room – instead of a $30,000-a-year human?”
The report suggests that Ava the robot may be able to handle repetitive tasks that require specific knowledge to complete. Leading a Wal-Mart customer to the isle that has widgets could be done. Walking the kids home from school would be something to think about.