In i-Robot: A new approach to robotics to make our life easier and safer, Part 2 of this blog series I introduced the utilization of electronics technology to robotics to realize robots that can be programmed to help surgeons perform high precision surgeries and moreover to realize mini-invasive chirurgical treatments. The robots might make our daily life more comfortable by mean of the IOT technology that is further spreading all around the world taking to the creation of smart homes (see Figure 1) inserted in a bigger infrastructure, known as smart city (see Figure 2):
The smart house, a new approach to the management of energy and electronic instrumentation of a house for guarantee its safety, the energy saving and the comfort of the habitants of this special type of house (Source: smarthomeenergy.co.uk)
The smart city: a net of connected smart houses and, more in general, a net of smart objects communicating bi-directionally through a central communication net (Source: Green Capacity)
How can a robot be inserted in a smart house setup?
There are many answers to this question, one good example is the new robot made by Samsung Company that is able to answer to a vocal command by a user, by connecting to a browser and by searching for all the documents that best match the request, that are available on the internet (see Figure 3):
“Samsung unveiled a big new push into Internet of Things at its developer conference today, and it's using a cute little robot to demonstrate it. It's called the Otto, a reference design for what is essentially an Amazon Echo clone. It has microphones and speakers so it can answer questions like “What's the weather?” plus you can use it to control various connected gadgets in your home like light switches and refrigerators.” (Source: engadget)
The Otto Robot by Samsung (Source: engadget.com)
This robot opens the way for many potentially new applications, like for example the potential to control smart televisions and smart objects.
Furthermore the robot could control the turning on as well as the switching off of the indoor lights of the smart home in the rooms that have no human guest inside, the goal is to save energy and it would be possible to control the energy management of the house by means of a smartphone connected with the robot: the user might send a vocal command by his smartphone to the robot that could drive the energy management setup of the smart home accordingly, for example by heating or cooling the house before the arrival of the owner. It is evident that many ICs for wireless communication and smart control might be utilized like microcontrollers (see Figure 4): “With unparalleled connectivity features, communications to the Internet of Things (IoT) cloud and real-time control, TI’s TM4C12x microcontrollers (MCUs) integrate a variety of peripherals enabling a new class of IoT gateway applications.” (Source: www.ti.com)
The TM4C129x Microcontrollers (Source: Texas Instruments)
Robotics science is thus enhanced by electronics technology to realize a prototype robot like the Samsung Otto, with an interesting potential to enhance the Internet of Things tech and many promising features that could be added in the near future. That’s a very interesting aspect of the i-Robot approach: Do you think that this type of robot will effectively match the IOT approach and will it help to further spread this technology?