Today in "Skynet pivots toward becoming a 1950's housewife" news...
The maker of the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner, iRobot, is now working on a household robot that will have arms, legs and could possibly help you do the dishes or load the washing machine.
The company, which is based out of Bedford, Mass., says it won't start selling this type of product for another 5 years, according to Bloomberg. But prototypes of these robots already exist, according to the company's CEO, Colin Angle.
Angle said during an interview at CES in Las Vegas that the company's new hardware launch for 2020 will instead be its Terra robotic lawnmower.
iRobot had previously developed robotic-arm technology for its military unit, but the company sold that business in 2016. It kept the "arm assets" however, despite at the time not understanding how to adapt the technology for mainstream use. Angle said that new advancements in computer vision and the ability for robots to map out homes have made these devices possible again.
Other companies like Amazon and Samsung are following suit in developing home robots. So far, however, they are focused on devices with video conferencing and voice assistants, and not home robots with arm devices that actually conduct physical tasks.
Not unlike the role they will be playing in many dysfunctional households, we're sure, iRobot's CEO is already using the new robots as scapegoats for his problems. The robots, along with the trade war, have apparently created financial headwinds for the company.
"We are having to scale back R&D and profitability targets," Angle concluded.